Actors Ichikawa Danjuro VIII as Inuzuka Shino Moritaka (R) and Bando Hikosaburo IV as Inukai Genpachi Nobumichi (L), Edo period (about 1850), by Utagawa Kunisada I (Japanese, 1786–1864). From the series Eight Dog Heroes of Satomi (Satomi Hakkenshi no hitori). Woodblock print, vertical oban diptych. In 106 volumes, from 1814 to 1842, Japanese author Bakin published his popular Tale of the Eight Dog Heroes of Satomi, in which eight samurai use sword fighting, magic, and strategy to defeat the enemies of the Satomi clan. Artists such as Utagawa Kunisada I based woodblock print designs on scenes from the novel and the ensuing Kabuki plays. Their art highlights the many poses, expressions, and vibrant costumes in the beloved story that studies the gamut of human nature.
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