Preview as a fine art print, canvas wrap or framed print, then choose your preferred option below.

Kunisada

Nakamura Shikan IV as Nangô Rikimaru (1862)

Size Guide
Size(s)
Print Option
Frame Color
-
Black
White
10 copies left in stock ⏳

About the Art

Sneaking around a corner, under the cloak of a tiger’s skin,Nangô Rikimaru spies and plots his next move. 

This scene is a section from the play 'Benten Kozō', named after the leading character, and is based on the classic tale of "Five Men of the White Waves". The story centres around the lives of a group of bandits, the term ‘white waves’ meaning thieves. The five criminals in the play are based on real thieves from Edo period Osaka. A tale of extortion, disguise and trickery, Benten Kozō’s gang of thieves cheat and lie their way to money and ranks. 

An important scene in the play is named 'Hamamatsuya'.One day, two of the thieves, Benten and Rikimaru, visit a cloth shop disguised as a lady of high rank and her retainer. They cause a scene where the lady gets injured and blame it on the shop owner, forcing him to pay 100 ryô compensation. On their way out, they come across a samurai who had been listening in from the next room. He tells the shop owner that he’d been taken for a fool, and offers to cut off the heads of Benten and Rikimaru. In an important moment of the play, both thieves remove their disguises and reveal their identities. In fear of bad publicity, the shop owner decides to overlook the matter and even gives Benten a small sum to help fix his wound. 

Take a look atRikimaru’s kimono which is patterned with 'koushi'; a lattice with thick lines to represent power, and thin lines to represent elegance. His 'kumadori', or villain make-up, has a blue tint to it, commonly used by kabuki actors to suggest bad traits such as jealousy and fear, also reflected in the eyes of his tiger costume.

The bamboo tree that lies behindNangô symbolises steadfastness, perseverance and resilience. Although seen as criminals, the characters of the play are 'gizoku', or "honourable thieves", and the symbolism in their yakusha-e portraits reflect this.

Why Shop With Us?

  • We're proud to offer a shipping policy that compares favorably with any online retailer.
    1. Free shipping to the US, UK, EU, Canada and Australia on all fine art prints, canvas wraps and smaller framed prints.
    2. You'll typically receive your order in 5 business days

  • You can find full details regarding shipping and delivery here.
  • We're sure you'll love your prints. However, if there are any problems, we're happy to offer a free exchange or refund 100% of the purchase price. Simply return the print within 30 days. For full details of our refunds and exchanges policy click here.
    • Arrives ready-to-hang
      • Mounting brackets for framed and canvas prints are included and centered on the frame
    • Premium quality look and feel
      • Every piece is made using the Giclee printing process, the standard for precise prints with stunning colors.
    • Made to last, even in bright/sunny rooms
      • Fade resistant paper and canvas materials, with a matte finish for an authentic look

How Your Art Arrives



Live a more artful, inspired life. Your ukiyo-e prints will spark moments of contemplation, serenity, joy and inspiration.


Join Our Newsletter Club