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Wrestling match between Matano Goro Kagehisa and Kawazu no Saburo Sukeyasu, by Kunisada

Image attached to P.214-1955

An image of The wrestling match between Matano Gorô Kagehisa and Kawazu no Saburô Sukeyasu. Kunisada, Utagawa (Japanese, 1786-1865). Colour print from woodblocks. Ôban triptych, each sheet 378 x 259. Signed: Ichiyûsai Kunisada ga. Publisher: Kawaguchiya Uhei. Censor’s seal: kiwame. c.1811-1813. Ukiyo-e. Notes: One of two early triptychs by Kunisada showing the final sumo bout in a legendary sequence enacted in 1176 before the general Minamoto no Yoritomo after a hunting expedition on Mount Akazawa. These were Kunisada’s first sumo prints, a field hitherto dominated by Katsukawa school artists, and he relied heavily on prints by Shun’ei for the poses of the wrestlers. Both prints depict the moment when the reluctant Kawazu defeated the hitherto unbeaten Matano by throwing him to the ground after employing a new hold (it is still used and is known as the Kawazu). The umpire Ebina Gempachi is shown signalling the victory with his fan (uchiwa). Kawazu was murdered the next day and the tale of how his two sons, Soga Jûrô and Gorô, avenged his death became popular in kabuki and ukiyo-e. The wrestling match was sometimes enacted as a preface to the plays.

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The wrestling match between Matano Gorô Kagehisa and Kawazu no Saburô Sukeyasu. Kunisada, Utagawa (Japanese, 1786-1865). Colour print from woodblocks. Ôban triptych, each sheet 378 x 259. Signed: Ichiyûsai Kunisada ga. Publisher: Kawaguchiya Uhei. Censor’s seal: kiwame. c.1811-1813. Ukiyo-e. Notes: One of two early triptychs by Kunisada showing the final sumo bout in a legendary sequence enacted in 1176 before the general Minamoto no Yoritomo after a hunting expedition on Mount Akazawa. These were Kunisada’s first sumo prints, a field hitherto dominated by Katsukawa school artists, and he relied heavily on prints by Shun’ei for the poses of the wrestlers. Both prints depict the moment when the reluctant Kawazu defeated the hitherto unbeaten Matano by throwing him to the ground after employing a new hold (it is still used and is known as the Kawazu). The umpire Ebina Gempachi is shown signalling the victory with his fan (uchiwa). Kawazu was murdered the next day and the tale of how his two sons, Soga Jûrô and Gorô, avenged his death became popular in kabuki and ukiyo-e. The wrestling match was sometimes enacted as a preface to the plays.

Image data

  • Accession Number: P.214-1955
  • Photograph copyright © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
  • Photographer name: Image Library; Fitzwilliam Museum
  • Image height: 484 pixels
  • Image width: 1024 pixels
  • Processed with: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.0 (Windows)
  • Filesize: 161.52kB

Key words

19th Century bout colour printing costume fan fight fighters fighting Fitz_PDP Japanese Kawaguchiya Uhei Kunisada male muscles muscular oban print sumo wrestling triptych uchiwa ukiyo-e umpire Utagawa Kunisada woodblock wrestlers wrestling wrestling match

Colours in this image

rgb(56,45,34), rgb(214,195,165), rgb(244,240,228), rgb(151,120,92), rgb(109,76,45), rgb(131,101,61), rgb(187,159,100), rgb(141,145,133), rgb(238,228,201), rgb(165,158,137), rgb(89,124,142)

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Wrestling match between Matano Goro Kagehisa and Kawazu no Saburo Sukeyasu, by Kunisada" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/image/media-218324 Accessed: 2022-10-01 00:12:04

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{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/image/media-218324 |title=Wrestling match between Matano Goro Kagehisa and Kawazu no Saburo Sukeyasu, by Kunisada |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-10-01 00:12:04|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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        alt="The wrestling match between Matano Gorô Kagehisa and Kawazu no Saburô Sukeyasu"
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