Japanese Woodblock Prints

Kuniyoshi - 108 Heroes of the Suikoden

    The 108 Heroes of the Popular Suikoden (Tsûzoku Suikoden góketsu hyaku-hachi-nin no hitori) is a series of Japanese woodblock prints designed by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861).  This is the first large warrior series by any ukiyoe artist and the series that made him famous.  The series is based on the Chinese novel Suikoden (Shuihu zhuan in Chinese) attributed to Shi Nai'an, it is one of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature.  It is a collection of stories set in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) that tells the adventures of 108 outlaws in the margins at Liangshan Marsh, similar to Robin Hoods's band.

     All of the prints from this series are published by Kaga-ya Kichiemon and dating to 1827-1830.  This is the best and most important ukiyoe warrior series, featuring fighting, weapons, animals, dragons, and tattoos

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