print titleKijutsu o yabutte Yorimitsu Hakamadare o karametoran to su
(Yorimitsu is stopping the magic, catching Hakamadare)
sizeōban, triptych
signatureIchieisai Yoshitsuya ga
era nameAnsei 5, 4th month
year of publication1858/4
censor’s sealuma, shi
publisherTsutaya Kichizō
inscriptionZoku kashira Hakamadare Yasusuke, Minamoto Yorimitsu, Urabe Suetake, Watanabe no Tsuna, Hirai Yasumasa
image descriptionThe magician Hakamadare Yasusuke is sitting in a tree. A red and bewitched giant snake is about to dispatch a little black creature which Minamoto Yorimitsu and his four retainers (shitennō, Sakata no Kintoki is missing) are trying to save.
interpretationIn general, this print is said to caricature the shogunal succession dispute featuring the potential candidates Yoshinobu and Yoshitomi. The powerful magician Hakamadare personifies Tokugawa Nariaki, who is the leader of the Hitotsubashi party and daimyō of the Mito domain. The bewitched giant snake symbolizing Nariaki’s son Hitotsubashi Yoshinobu is chasing a little, black creature which is meant to be Tokugawa Yoshitomi, aged only twelve, who was the daimyō of the Kishū domain and part of the Nanki party as well as the 14th Shōgun Iemochi. Minamoto Yorimitsu (Raikō) represents tairō Ii Naosuke, who pushed the young Yoshitomi to becoming shōgun. The giant snake is not just depicted as a terrifying creature but at the same time it is powerful and gorgeous.
The proportions of the depicted figures and their correlation is confusing because the powerful Raikō (Ii Naosuke) is illustrated as a very small figure, despite the fact that he is winning the battle against Hakamadare (Nariaki, who lost the shogunal succession dispute). Probably, this print was issued just before or after Ii Naosuke became tairō on the 23rd day of the 4th month, when Ii’s handling of power and succession issues were still uncertain. In Yoshitsuya’s version of the power struggle, the Hitotsubashi party appears superior, but Yoshitsuya seems to sympathies with the Nanki party, who in the end won the struggle.

collectionHIUT, MAK, PSM, WTM
referenceHIUT DB 0380-17-1(8), Konishi 1977:84-85, Nichibunken 1993:fig.1141, WTM DB 401-0551
copyrightHIUT DB 0380-17-1(8)
image categoryfūshiga, giga
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