Explore highlights
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, The Wrestler Roshi Ensei, a colour woodblock print

©

 

Height: 560.000 mm
Width: 405.000 mm

Asia JA 1906.12-20.01272

    Utagawa Kuniyoshi, The Wrestler Roshi Ensei, a colour woodblock print

    Japan
    Edo period, about AD 1827-30

    This print, by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861), is one of a series depicting 108 heroes of the Chinese adventure story Shuihu zhuan ('The Water Margin'), which was sensationally popular in a translation that appeared in Japan in the early decades of the nineteenth century. The wrestler's snow-white body was decorated at an early age by a master tattoo artist with an elaborate all-body design of peonies and Chinese shishi (leonine creatures).

    Kuniyoshi's prints frequently feature tattoos, and many of his designs have entered the mainstream of modern tattooing.

    J.C.H. King (ed.), Human image (London, The British Museum Press, 2000)

    Highlights

    Browse or search over 4,000 highlights from the Museum collection

    Shop Online

    How to make origami, £14.99

    How to make origami, £14.99