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.

Find in the collection online

More information

Bibliography

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

Dimensions

Height: 560.000 mm
Width: 405.000 mm

Museum number

Asia JA 1906.12-20.01272

JCF3976

Location

Find in the collection online



Search highlights

There are over 4,000 highlight objects to explore