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Image of Scene from" The Tale of the Martyr of Sakura"

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Utagawa Kunisada
Japanese (1786 - 1864) Primary

Scene from" The Tale of the Martyr of Sakura"

Late 18th century - early 19th century
Color woodblock

15 3/4 x 10 1/2 (40.01 cm x 26.67 cm)
Gift of Margery Hoffman Smith, Class of 1911

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: S.61.a
Geography: Asia, Japan
Classification: Fine and Visual Arts; Prints; Woodcuts
Culture/Nationality: Japanese
Prolific ukiyo-e woodblock artist Kunisada is known for his work on traditional themes of middle-class life and entertainment. His most famous works portray actors and scenes from kabuki plays, including this print, which illustrates a scene from Sakura Giminden, an eighteenth-century play written about a legendary folk hero.

In this story, Sogo, the headman of a small village, defies the law and makes a direct appeal to the shogun about his village's harshly high taxes. The village is granted relief but Sogo, his wife, and his children are all executed for his offense. In this scene, Sogo's family bids him a final, emotional farewell as he leaves to make his fateful appeal to the shogun.

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<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Scene from" The Tale of the Martyr of Sakura" |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=1/24/2022 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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