HIROSHIGE Act 4

HIROSHIGE

Act 4
Play:  Chushingura

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Japanese Print Description

Act 4
Artist: HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)
Series: Chushingura
c 1835-39

Oban Yoko-e.  2 wormholes

This is Lord Hangan’s family home.  Two envoys from the shogun are arriving (upper left) with news of the shoguns judgment.  Hangan will be ordered to commit seppuku immediately and his lands will be confiscated.  In the foreground Hangan’s wife, Kaoyo, waits with some servants.  With the exception of the grim expressions on the envoy’s faces, this tranquil scene betrays no sense of the tragedy that is about to befall the household.  The cherry blossoms, in addition to indicating the season, symbolize a fleeting beauty, or a short but noble life.

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