Evening Bell and the Receipt of the Message thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Evening Bell and the Receipt of the Message

Woodblock Print
1843-1847 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This 'uchiwa-e' (rigid fan print) design is by Hiroshige. It is from a series in which the artist used the 'Hakkei' or Eight Views formula to depict episodes from a play. The 11-act 'Kanadehon Chushingura' ('The Treasury of Loyal Retainers') is one of the best-known Japanese plays. It is based on the true story of how the 47 retainers of Ako avenged the death of their master Asano Naganori. The shogunal authorities sentenced them to commit suicide by 'seppuku' (ritual disembowelling). They were buried near their master's grave in the Sengakuji Temple in Edo (modern Tokyo). The dead retainers personnified the samurai principle of absolute loyalty to one's lord.

The double comma motif surrounding the picture title cartouche is the family crest of Oishi Kuranosuke. He was Asano's chief counsellor and leader of the vendetta. The tooth pattern within the cartouche is identical to that used on the robes of the 47 retainers in the final scene of the play. In it they storm the mansion of Kira Yoshinaka and put him to death.

This particular print records a moment in Act 2. The young Rikiya arrives at the palace of Momoi Wakanosuke to deliver a message. Rikiya is engaged to Konami, the 17-year-old daughter of Wakanosuke's chief advisor. Konami's mother knows that Rikiya is coming and sends Konami to meet him. Rikiya is surprised to be met by his beloved. He blushes and turns away while Konami hides her face with embarrassment.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitleEight Views from the Chushingura (series title)
Materials and Techniques
Colour print from woodblocks
Brief Description
Woodblock print, Utagawa Hiroshige I; 'Evening Bell and the Receipt of the Message', from the series 'Eight Views from the Chushingura'; fan print, Japanese, 1843-1847
Physical Description
Fan print, aiban size. Artist signature: Hiroshige ga. Publisher mark: Ibaya Senzaburo. Censor seal: Murata.
Dimensions
  • Approx. height: 220mm
  • Approx. width: 290mm
Style
Credit line
R. Leicester Harmsworth Gift
Summary
This 'uchiwa-e' (rigid fan print) design is by Hiroshige. It is from a series in which the artist used the 'Hakkei' or Eight Views formula to depict episodes from a play. The 11-act 'Kanadehon Chushingura' ('The Treasury of Loyal Retainers') is one of the best-known Japanese plays. It is based on the true story of how the 47 retainers of Ako avenged the death of their master Asano Naganori. The shogunal authorities sentenced them to commit suicide by 'seppuku' (ritual disembowelling). They were buried near their master's grave in the Sengakuji Temple in Edo (modern Tokyo). The dead retainers personnified the samurai principle of absolute loyalty to one's lord.



The double comma motif surrounding the picture title cartouche is the family crest of Oishi Kuranosuke. He was Asano's chief counsellor and leader of the vendetta. The tooth pattern within the cartouche is identical to that used on the robes of the 47 retainers in the final scene of the play. In it they storm the mansion of Kira Yoshinaka and put him to death.



This particular print records a moment in Act 2. The young Rikiya arrives at the palace of Momoi Wakanosuke to deliver a message. Rikiya is engaged to Konami, the 17-year-old daughter of Wakanosuke's chief advisor. Konami's mother knows that Rikiya is coming and sends Konami to meet him. Rikiya is surprised to be met by his beloved. He blushes and turns away while Konami hides her face with embarrassment.
Collection
Accession Number
E.2913-1913

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record createdNovember 20, 2003
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