Master of the incongruous, artist Kuniyoshi (1797-1861), must have laughed at his own creation. The threatening, screaming samurai with a cute bunny rabbit helmet. The first time I saw this print as a small black and white illustration in B.W. Robinson’s excellent book, Kuniyoshi: The Warrior Prints (1982 Cornell University Press), I laughed out loud. It makes me wish I lived 200 years ago so that I could have known such a hilarious person.
Information follows from Fujiarts.com website:
Original Kuniyoshi (1797 – 1861) Japanese Woodblock Print
Hare: Shinozuka Iga no Kami
Series; Japanese Heroes for the Twelve Signs, 1854
Hare: Shinozuka Iga no Kami – Terrific portrait of the legendary samurai Shinozuka Iga no Kami, a retainer of the Nitta Clan renowned for his great strength. He is shown standing on the shore during a battle, the sea raging behind him as he grips a spear with both hands. His mouth is open in a ferocious yell, the flowing white mane of his battle helmet adding to his fierce appearance. The rocky ground below is littered with broken arrows and a fallen standard. Beautifully detailed with subtle burnishing on the black armor and delicate embossing on the flowing white wig of the helmet which is topped with Shinozuka’s emblem of a golden hare. A bold Kuniyoshi warrior design.
Artist – Kuniyoshi (1797 – 1861)
Image Size – 14 1/8″ x 9 5/8″