Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Three couriers fight to deliver a parcel to Yoritomo

  • Description

    The figures in this triptych are all couriers, or postmen, identifiable by their distinctive black gloves and gaiters. The couriers stand in front of a shrine that houses the rat-ghost of the wicked priest Raigō, who has been casting evil spells on the people of Japan. The ruler Yoritomo has fallen ill under the spell of the rat; he offers a large reward for the delivery of a special silver cat figure he wishes to place in his sickroom in order to drive out the evil spirit. The parcel at the centre of this print contains this silver cat: all three couriers are vying with each other to deliver the parcel.

  • Details

    The Sound of Drums in the Yoshiwara Pleasure Quarters
    Associated place
    AsiaJapanHonshūKantōTōkyō prefecture Tōkyō (place of creation)
    AsiaJapanHonshūKantōTōkyō prefecture Tōkyō (place of publication)
    Toyohara Kunichika (1835 - 1900) (designer)
    Associated people
    Izutsuya Shōkichi (active c. 1849 - 1865) (publisher)
    Ichimura Kakitsu IV (1844 - 1903) (subject)
    Bandō Hikosaburō V (1832 - 1877) (subject)
    Kawarasaki Gonjūrō (1838 - 1903) (subject)
    Material and technique
    Nishiki-e, woodblock print with ink and colour
    mount 55.3 x 95.3 cm (height x width)
    Material index
    Technique index
    Object type index
    No. of items
    Credit line
    Presented by Christ Church College, University of Oxford, 1983.
    Accession no.


    • currently in research collection

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