Utamaro Kitagawa

Act II from the series »The Floating World and the Tale of the Loyal Retainers«, 1798

About the object

The print parodies the second act of the play 47 Ronin, in which a young nobleman decides to seek revenge for a humiliation he has suffered. He receives the support of his retainer, who symbolically cleaves the pine branch from the tree as a sign for them to implement their murderous plan. Utamaro assumes that the viewers will know the play. Instead of the warriors, there are two beautiful women, one of whom is pointing to a pine branch. But instead of forging murderous plans, they are both occupying themselves peacefully.

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