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Utagawa Kuniyoshi, The Wrestler Roshi Ensei, a colour woodblock print

1827/1830

British Museum

British Museum

This print, by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861), is one of a series depicting 108 heroes of the Chinese adventure story Shuihu zhuan ('The Water Margin'), which was sensationally popular in a translation that appeared in Japan in the early decades of the nineteenth century. The wrestler's snow-white body was decorated at an early age by a master tattoo artist with an elaborate all-body design of peonies and Chinese shishi (leonine creatures).Kuniyoshi's prints frequently feature tattoos, and many of his designs have entered the mainstream of modern tattooing.

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Details

  • Title: Utagawa Kuniyoshi, The Wrestler Roshi Ensei, a colour woodblock print
  • Date Created: 1827/1830
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 56.00cm; Width: 40.50cm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: woodblock
  • Subject: literature; history; myth/legend; wrestling/wrestler
  • Registration number: 1906,1220,0.1272
  • Production place: Made in Japan
  • Producer: Print artist Kuniyoshi, Utagawa
  • Period/culture: Edo Period
  • Material: paper
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Morrison, Arthur

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