Ehon Sakigake from 'Illustrations of Heroes' by Katsushika Hokusai, first volume of set of four woodblock printed books

Ehon Sakigake from 'Illustrations of Heroes' by Katsushika Hokusai, first volume of set of four woodblock printed books

Ehon Sakigake
From 'Illustrations of Heroes' by Katsushika Hokusai
First volume of set of four woodblock printed books
Japan
1836
Museum no. E.15136-1886

This is the first volume of a four-volume set of woodblock printed books, Illustrations of Heroes, designed by Hokusai and engraved by Sugita Kinsuke and Egawa Tomekichi. The book contains stories of historical and mythical characters from Chinese and Japanese legend. The illustration here is from the 'Tale of Urashima Taro', a fisherman who falls in love with, and marries, Otohime, the daughter of the Dragon King of the Sea. The illustration here is of the moment when, after the birth of his child, he sees his wife in her true form as a dragon. When he eventually returns to the real world he discovers that some 300 years have passed.