The composition in this magnificently printed surimono print (Fig.1) has a striking depth perception which is suggested by placing the couple in the foreground on the right and the diagonal lines of the long stone bench. There is also a nice contrast between the rustic space in the building and the wild waves of the sea in the background.
Story of Urashima Taro
The protagonists are the fisherman Urashima Taro and Otohime, the Dragon Princess and daughter of the god of the sea. These two are among the most famous characters of Japanese folklore and mythology. The story is about the fisherman Urashima Taro who gets rewarded for rescuing a turtle, and carried on its back to the Dragon Palace (Ryūgū-jō) beneath the sea.
Once there, he is honored by the princess Otohime as a reward. He spends a few days with the princess, but when he returns to shore, he finds that 300 years have passed. And when, finally, he opens the forbidden jewelled box, given to him by Otohime on his departure, he turns into an old man.
Kunisada and Yoshitoshi
This story was also a popular subject among many other ukiyo-e artists such as Kunisada (Fig.2) and Yoshitoshi (Fig.3)…
Click HERE for a rare erotic design from this series depicting the tattooed Suikoden hero Tanmeijiro Genshogo…..!!
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