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Kuniyoshi's series of "Skillfully Tempered Sharp Blades

 
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lordameth
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:23 am    Post subject: Kuniyoshi's series of "Skillfully Tempered Sharp Blades Reply with quote
As I continue to look into various aspects of the kabuki play Ise Ondo which we'll be performing here in Honolulu next month, I came upon this series of prints by Kuniyoshi which I thought people here might appreciate.

http://www.kuniyoshiproject.com/Skillfully%20Tempered%20Sharp%20Blades.htm

It's a series of ten prints, entitled 鏗鏘手練鍛の名刄, by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, known for his warrior prints. Produced in 1847-48, the series features ten famous swords and the stories in which they appear; I imagine these are mostly kabuki plays, not actual historical incidents (and not actual historical figures), but immediately offhand, I only recognize a few

*Fukuoka Mitsugi, the 'hero' of Ise Ondo, wielding the Aoi Shimosaka.
*Kamiya Jihei, from "Shinjû Ten no Amijima" or "The Love Suicides of Amijima", though I don't recall there being anything in that play about any particularly famous or even named sword.

I also found it interesting to notice that a second print in this series also features a blade by Shimosaka Yasutsugu, though I've yet to take the time to really look into the story behind this play, "Oriawase Tsuzure no Nishiki", about which Google reveals almost nothing in English.
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