Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Specter from the Story of Utö Yasutaka

Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Specter from  the Story of Utö Yasutaka

Object Title:

Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Specter from the Story of Utö Yasutaka

Date:

c. 1843 - 1847

Artist:

Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Publisher:

Unknown Publisher

Medium:

Color woodblock print Technique: Nishiki-e (Woodblock print with color blocks)

Credit Line:

Gift of Victor S.K. Houston in honor of his wife, Pinao Brickwood Houston, 1941 (11641.06)

Object Number:

11641.06

Description:

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861), was famous for his experimentation with both native and Western styles, as well as for his depiction of history and legends. The scene appearing here is from a popular novel called the Story of Utö Yasutaka, written by Santö Kyöden (1761-1816) in 1807. After gaining magical powers from a mountain hermit, Princess Takiyasha, the legendary daughter of Taira Masakado (10th century), tried to form a conspiracy against her father’s killer. The gigantic skeleton portrayed here was a result of her newfound magical abilities. Kuniyoshi was believed to own a copy of a book that depicted Western anatomical drawings (kaitai shinsho); the skeleton demonstrates Kuniyoshi’s knowledge of anatomy. The panoramic composition lends powerful drama to the macabre image. "Imagination, Power & Humor: The Art of Utagawa Kuniyoshi" 10/14/2010 - 12/19/2010 ****************************************