A Scroll of Caricatures
from the Righteous Samurai Collection, 1920
by Kikkawa Reika
The tenth print appearing in Volume 1 of Gishi taikan, edited by Fukumoto Nichinan.
Ōishi Yoshio, on the right, about to depart for Kyoto, hands his faithful servant Hachisuke a sketch he has drawn of himself and Hachisuke saying "Do you remember? This is the path we used to travel when I would take you along to the Yoshiwara Quarter as a young man in Edo. Perhaps this may serve as a memento." They then talked about the past and parted tearfully.
artist signature and seal
Kikkawa Reika 吉川霊華 (1875-1929)
Also known as Kitsukawa Reika, he was born in Yushima, Tokyo. His father was a Confucian scholar. He studied ukiyo-e and Kanō school painting, the later under Yamana Tsurayoshi 山名貫義 (1836-1902). He was influenced by Reizei Tamechika 冷泉為恭 (1823-1864), an artist of the revived Yamato-e school in the last days of the Tokugawa regime, which led him to also study old Chinese paintings of the Sui and Tang dynasties. He became best known in the art world for his collaboration with Kaburaki Kiyokata 鏑木清方 (1878-1972), Hirafuku Hyakusui 平福 百穂 (1877-1933), and others in forming Kinreisha (Golden Bell Society) in 1916, a nihonga association training promising young artists. While he occasionally exhibited with the government sponsored Bunten and Teiten exhibition and served as a Teiten juror, Kikkawa largely went his own way establishing his quite individual style.
Sources: Tokyo Art Beat "Reika Kikkawa An Explorer for Lines in Modern Times" The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; [A] Dictionary of Japanese Artists: Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Prints, Lacquer, Laurance P. Roberts, Weatherhill, 1976, p. 81.