In nineteenth century Japan, Utagawa Kuniyoshi produced wonderful woodcuts and prints, such as the eagle seen in the picture above, and the tiger below (for those who like tigers).He also made prints of Kabuki actors, famous Samurai, legendary wise women and characters from popular stories. In the 1830s, Kuniyoshi produced prints of characters from a popular story called Suikoden, a Japanese translation of the classic Chinese novel Shuihu Zhuan (Outlaws of the Marsh). The story describes the deeds of 108 heroes who band together to fight against a corrupt government - an epic serial of swashbuckling adventure. The television series of this story is my current DVD obsession, so my interest in Kuniyoshi's 'Heroes of Our Country's Suikoden' is not entirely coincidental and will probably continue for some little while. Hurrah!
(C) Trustees of the British Museum, www.britishmuseum.org. It can be found here, complete with multicoloured line seen on the left of the image. What is the line for? Is it to show the scale? Who can say?