Night Rain on the Mountain Road thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Night Rain on the Mountain Road

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 depicts an episode in Act 5. Yoichibei is returning home on a rainy night. He has been conducting preliminary negotiations to sell his daughter into prostitution. He is trying to raise money for his son-in-law Kanpei, one of the 47 retainers. Tired from his journey, the old man sits down to rest. As he takes out his purse to count his money, he is attacked by the young and powerful Ono Sadakuro, who robs and murders him.


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; 'Night Rain on the Mountain Road', 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 depicts an episode in Act 5. Yoichibei is returning home on a rainy night. He has been conducting preliminary negotiations to sell his daughter into prostitution. He is trying to raise money for his son-in-law Kanpei, one of the 47 retainers. Tired from his journey, the old man sits down to rest. As he takes out his purse to count his money, he is attacked by the young and powerful Ono Sadakuro, who robs and murders him.
Collection
Accession Number
E.2914-1913

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record createdNovember 20, 2003
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