Act IV (Hangan's suicide), from the series The Treasury of Loyal Retainers, a Primer (The Story of the 47 Ronin)
Dimensions: sheet: 9 7/8 x 14 3/4 in. (25.1 x 37.5 cm)
mat: 16 x 20 in. (40.6 x 50.8 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Stan and Connie Rajnak
Label Text: Hokusai was famous in his own time (and still today) for his views of Mt. Fuji and the iconic Great Wave (ca. 1830). However, this earlier literary subject, designed in 1806, continued to be skillfully reprinted in the decades following the artist’s death. Hokusai presents a birds-eye view of a scene from the Kanadehon Chushingura. Audience members were not permitted to leave their seats for any reason during Act IV, when Hangan commits ritual suicide for the offense of drawing his sword upon another lord, Ko no Moronao. More prominently featured in this print, however, is Hangan’s wife, Kaoyo, arranging cherry blossoms. By rebuffing Moronao’s amorous advances, she unwittingly sealed the villain’s vengeful intent to ruin Hangan.
Object Number: 2016.6
Currently not on view