The eight canine heroes of the house of Satomi

The print is based on a kabuki play inspired by a novel written by Takizawa Bakin (1767-1848). The Lord of Satomi vowed to give his daughter Princess Fuse in marriage to whoever brought him the head of his enemy. In the event, the head was brought by the Lord's own dog, who claimed the reward.

In the centre panel, the magic spirit dog, whose supernatural nature is indicated by the spirit flame, is shown taking on human form. The magic spirit dog is holding onto the robe of the Princess, who has reluctantly married him.

In the left panel, the Lord of Satomi is standing behind his retainer. Shamed at becoming pregnant, the princess disembowelled herself, and eight magic jewels scattered from her wound and transformed into babies.

The eight canine heroes of the house of Satomi Utagawa KUNISADA
Japanese 1786-1864
The eight canine heroes of the House of Satomi
c. 1851-53 Edo, Japan

colour woodblock (triptych)
34.3 x 73.0 cm (image and sheet) (overall)
Purchased, 1957 (3679A.a-c-4)

The eight canine heroes of the house of Satomi

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