Art Gallery Curator’s Tour

Ichikawa Sandanji III in the role of the 47 Ronin Leader, Oboshi Yuranosuke  Woodcut print by Masamitsu Ota (1892 – 1975)  AGGV 2007.021.001
Virtuous Vendetta 

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria – Victoria, BC
January 16, 2013
Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm & 2:00pm – 3:00pm 

This classic saga begins in 1700 when Lord Asano Naganori under the guidance of Lord Kira Yoshinaka, is commissioned to look after the emperor’s envoys during their visit to the shogun’s court.  Lord Kira, who is a bit greedy and unethical, rudely insults Lord Asano for refusing to bribe him for advice on official etiquette. Asano was so humiliated that in a rage, he drew his sword and wounded his tormentor on the forehead.  To draw one’s sword within the shogun’s castle grounds is a very serious offense, and thus the authorities instruct Asano to commit suicide (hara-kiri).  With his death, his feudal retainers in turn lose their status as samurai, becoming ronin, which means masterless samurai.  After patiently waiting and planning for over a year, the ronin execute a daring assault on Lord Kira’s estate, despite knowing that they would themselves be forced to commit suicide to atone for their crime.

The exhibition features more than 50 woodblock prints by various well known artists, enhanced by video footage of the numerous movies and TV films on the subject. Take a tour of the exhibition with curator of Asian Art, and renowned storyteller, Barry Till.

For admission information, please visit the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria website.

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