This site requires that you enable Javascript to function properly Scholten Japanese Art | Woodblock Prints | Tsukioka Yoshitoshi Picture of Rochishin in a Drunken Rage Demolishing a Guardian Statue on Mount Godai
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Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892
Picture of Rochishin in a Drunken Rage Demolishing a Guardian Statue on Mount Godai
(Rochishin ransui Godaisan Kongojin o uchikowasu no zu)

signed Yoshitoshi, with artist's seal Yoshitoshi no in, carver's seal Negishi Chokuzan, and publisher's seal Hasegawa Tsunejiro dated Meiji nijunen, kyugatsu, ichika (Meiji 20 [1887], September 1) of Shimizuya Tsunejiro
oban tate-e vertical diptych 29 3/8 by 10 1/8 in., 74.6 by 25.7 cm
Rochishin (Ch. Lu Chi Shen) is an anti-hero from the Japanese adaptation of Tales of the Water Margin (Suikoden), a 16th-century collection of stories considered to be one of the classics of Chinese literature. Rochishin, often called the Flower Priest for his plum blossom tattoos, had been a military captain named Rotatsu who had acted rashly when he killed a butcher who was abusing his own mistress. The mistress' father advised Rotatsu to take the monk's name Rochishin and retire to the monastery on Mount Godai. Once on the mountain, he became widely feared for robbing merchants and drinking heavily, the latter of which activities was often followed by vomiting and relieving himself in the temple. After taking time to gather their courage, the monks forced him out of the monastery, at which point Rochishin joined a gang of thieves.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the life of a robber suited him well. He soon returned to the Mount Godai monastery to expel a rival gang of thieves who had found refuge within the temple walls. In this composition, Yoshitoshi depicts Rochishin in a drunken rage at the temple entrance beneath the kongojin (Buddhist guardian deity). The misguided outlaw, consumed by destructive fury, throws his weight against a heavy foundation beam as broken guardrails which had surrounded the statue come crashing down. Above, the open-mouthed guardian seems to scream in protest as it teeters on its base, threatening Rochishin from above.
Highlights of Japanese Printmaking: Part Five - Yoshitoshi, Scholten Japanese Art, New York, 2017, cat. no. 86
Roger Keyes, Courage and Silence, 1983, p. 479, no. 498
Shinichi Segi, Yoshitoshi the Splendid Decadent, 1985, p. 72, no. 89
Akita Museum of Modern Art, Tsukioka Yoshitoshi: The Last Ukiyo-e Artist of Genius, 1999, p. 33, no. 108
Amy Reigle Newland & Chris Uhlenbeck, Yoshitoshi: Masterpieces from the Ed Fries Collection, 2011, p. 124, no. 90
Yuriko Iwakiri, Yoshitoshi, 2014, p. 146, no. 218
price: Sold