Amakawaya Gihei standing on the chest containing the arms, number 10 from the series The Loyal League of Forty-seven Ronin (Uki-E Chusingura)

Katsukawa Shunsen, Japanese, about 1762 - 1830


after 1806

Color woodblock print on paper

Set of 11

Overall: 9 3/8 × 12 15/16 in. (23.8 × 32.9 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Gift of Claire E. and Dr. Frederick R. Mebel, Class of 1935



Place Made: Japan, East Asia, Asia


19th century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


Act 10: The Manliness of Gihei: The Osaka merchant, Gihei, provides the focus of act 10. A successful attack on Moronao required disguises, weapons, and a variety of tools to breach the fortified perimeters of Moronao’s estate. Gihei had supplied the Ak domain with its needs for many years. When the plot to avenge En’ya’s death was devised, Yuranosuke enlisted Gihei’s assistance. His loyalty to the cause, however, needs to be tested. Several of Yuranosuke’s men visit Gihei’s shop in the guise of shogunal authorities to claim that Gihei has been implicated in a plot to avenge Enya’s death. As proof, they bring in one the crates of weapons that Gihei had collected. Gihei jumps on top the crate, claiming that it contains private items ordered by the wife of an important official. The men then threaten to kill Gihei’s infant son if he does not confess, but Gihei still refuses to yield. At that point Yuranosuke appears from inside the crate and explains that he arranged the test to ensure that Gihei had not betrayed their cause. For kabuki audience members, most of whom would have been of the artisan and merchant classes, this act had tremendous appeal. Gihei’s actions demonstrated that even those of low birth were capable of the loyalty and self-sacrifice usually associated with the samurai class. The background scene depicts two of the forty-seven r nin apprehending Gihei’s wife. Fearing that she might be harmed should he be arrested, Gihei claimed she was unfaithful and sent her away in tears. Her captors cut off her hair and told her to enter a Buddhist nunnery until Gihei came for her.

From the 2019 exhibition Narratives in Japanese Woodblock Prints, guest curated by Allen Hockley, Associate Professor of Art History at Dartmouth

Course History

ARTH 62.3, Japanese Prints, Allen Hockley, Winter 2019

ARTH 62.30/ASCL 62.12, Japanese Prints, Allen Hockley, Spring 2022

Art History 62.30, Asian Societies, Cultures, and Languages 62.12, Japanese Prints, Allen Hockley, Spring 2023

Art History 62.30, Asian Societies, Cultures, and Languages 62.12, Japanese Prints, Allen Hockley, Summer 2023

Exhibition History

Narratives in Japanese Woodblock Prints, Class of 1967 Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, March 27-June 9, 2019.

Palmer Lounge Cases, Hopkins Center Art Galleries, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, October 1975.


Dr. Frederick Ronald Mebel (1913-1998) and Claire E. Mebel (1916-1994); Rockville Center, New York; given to present collection, 1975.

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