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Creator Name: Katsukawa, Shun'ei
Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Japanese
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: Japanese; 1762-1819 Asia,East Asia,Japan
Creator Active Place: Asia,East Asia,Japan
Creator Name-CRT: Katsukawa Shun'ei
Title: The sumo wrestler Kurogumo Otozo with the teahouse waitress Naniwaya Okita
Title Type: preferred
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1790
Creation End Date: 1790
Creation Date: Edo period, early 1790s
Creation Place: Asia,East Asia,Japan
Object Type: Prints
Classification Term: Woodblock
Materials and Techniques: Woodblock print.
Dimensions: Oban; 39.0 x 26.0 cm
Inscriptions: SIGNATURE Shun'ei gaCENSOR'S SEAL Kiwame
AMICA Contributor: The Art Institute of Chicago
Owner Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
ID Number: 1958.159
Credit Line: The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James A. Michener.
Subject Description: The early years of the '90s saw a fashion among several ukiyo-e artists (Kitagawa Utamaro, Shuncho, Shun'ei) for pairing celebrated beauties-Yoshiwara courtesans or pretty shop girls-with hulking wrestlers. Shun'ei took up this vogue with enthusiasm, showing us here the young wrestler Otozo escorted by the waitress Okita of the Naniwaya Teahouse, who wears a wave-patterned apron and carries a paper lantern decorated with the vine-leaf crest of the teahouse. By setting her figure slightly behind the wrestler, he emphasizes their disparity in size. Okita holds up her hand to her mouth in a gesture that might express surprise, or even admiration. For although we may be tempted to interpret this print as a pairing of-beauty and the beast,'in fact the youngersumo wrestlers, despite their massive bulk, were often popular heartthrobs among women. It is doubtful, however, that Otozo and Okita would ever actually have met: their implied relationship is an artistic conceit.A handbill (banzuke) for the sumo match held in the precincts of Kanda Myojin Shrine in the third month of 1792 lists Otozo in the ninth level of maegashira rank in the Western Group and mentions that he came from Iyo Province. The comic kyoka poem by Engi Kanenari printed in the cartouche in the top left-hand corner of the print suggests that he was very popular:Sajiki yoriame arare zohana furitehiiki mo tsuyoku Kurogumomiyuru KurogumoFlowers shower liketo Rain and hailFrom the gallery:looks as strongAs his supporters.('The Actor's Image', 1994)
AMICA ID: AIC_.1958.159
AMICA Library Year: 1999
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright The Art Institute of Chicago, 1999
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