Cho Jun, the white splash in the waves, wrestling in the river with Riki, the black whirlwind

Cho Jun, nicknamed the White Splash, and Ri Ki, the Black Whirlwind, were among the 108 outlaw heroes of the 13th-century Chinese novel The heroes of the waterfront.

Ri Ki, a river pirate, had attempted to steal fish, but was interrupted by Cho Jun, the owner of the local fish-market, who challenged him to fight.

Cho Jun was reputed to be able to walk under water for 10 miles and to live at the bottom of the river for seven days and nights. Ri Ki accepted the challenge and they fought under water.

The fight is echoed in the dramatic scene tattooed on Cho Jun's body showing an eagle grasping a monkey with its claws under a layer of autumn maple leaves.

Cho Jun, the white splash in the waves, wrestling in the river with Riki, the black whirlwind Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI
Japanese1839-1892
Cho Jun, the White Splash in the Waves, wrestling
in the river with Ri Ki, the Black Whirl Wind

1887 Tokyo, Japan

colour woodblock (diptych)
70.2 x 24.4 cm (image) (overall)
Purchased, 1992 (AS13.a-b-1992)

Cho Jun, the white splash in the waves, wrestling in the river with Riki, the black whirlwind

Get the Flash Player to see this content.