Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892
Lin Chong Kills Officer Lu Qian Near the Temple of the Mountain Spirit
(Hyoshito Rinchu sanshinbyo no mae ni oito riku guko o korosu)
with lacquer-printing on the black details and white gofun snow, signed oju Yoshitoshi hitsu, with artist's seal Yoshitoshi no in, and publisher's date and address seal Meiji nijunen, kyugatsu, ichika; Hakkosha Kanda;-ku Kajicho go-banchi; Hasegawa Tsunejiro (Meiji 20 , September 1) of Shimizuya Tsunejiro (Shitsune; ca. 1842-1904)
oban tate-e vertical diptych 29 3/8 by 10 1/8 in., 74.5 by 25.6 cm
Tales of the Water Margin (Suikoden), attributed to Shi Na'ian, told stories of outlaws set in the 12th-century and is considered one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. The Suikoden character Lin Chong (Jp. Rinchu) was nicknamed 'Panther Head' (Jp. Hyoshito) for his glaring eyes and panther-like hair. Chong was originally a martial arts instructor who fell into ill repute with his commander Gao Qiu after Qiu's son tried to seduce Chong's wife. Rather than stand by the reliable Chong, Qiu had the warrior framed for treason, forcing Chong to flee with Qiu's men not far behind.
The print depicts the aftermath of a failed assassination attempt in which the would-be assassin, Lu Qian (Jp. Riku), set Chong's hut aflame in an attempt to trap the warrior. Chong was, however, at a nearby temple, and after returning took Qian by surprise, impaling him on a spear. Though he had desired a life of peaceful exile, the assassination attempt brought Chong to criminality, and he thereafter joined a group of insurgents and became an outlaw.
Keyes 1983, p. 476, no. 492
Segi 1985, p. 72, no. 88
van den Ing & Schaap 1992, p. 83, no. 61
He 2012, p. 117 (re: story)
Ota Memorial Museum of Art 2012, p. 136, no. 198
Iwakiri 2014, p. 145, no. 217
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