The Legend of Oguri-Hangan and Princess Terute
The legend of Oguri-Hangan has been the exceptional being for Fujisawa. In ukiyo-e, Fujisawa was depicted with the themes of Oguri’s legend. Because of the deep relationship between Yugyoji Temple and “The Legend of Oguri-Hangan and Princess Terute”, Fujisawa-post station was noted, “as for Fujisawa, Oguri-Hangan is the famous figure”. In the ukiyo-e series of The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido, the characters such as Oguri-Hangan, Princess Terute, and the legendary horse Onikage often appeared. The kusa- zoshi (picture books with narrative and dialogue) of no.53-54 “Iromoyoshi Yukari no Fujisawa” (illustrations by Utagawa Kunisada), published in 1811 (Bunsei 4) based on the story written by Ryūtei Tanehiko was an example of dramatizing the legend of Oguri-Hangan. In no.1, Utagawa Kunisada’s “Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido: Oguri-Hangan in Fujisawa”, the artist illustrated the popular actor who played the kabuki’s main characters, and allotted them to the related stations. Behind the actor’s large portrait, the landscape of the related station is printed at the upper part of the picture. The series of works in this style were called “Yakusha Mitate Tokaido”, or the kabuki actors likened to the stations of Tokaido highway.
No.2, the series of “Jointly Painted Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido: Fujisawa Station”, was produced by Utagawa Kunisada and Utagawa Hiroshige, the two most popular ukiyo-e artists of that time. In the picture, the image of a woman who is pulling a car is illustrated. This motif was taken from “Princess Terute Pulling a Car”, in the kabuki play and joruri puppet drama. No.3, “Fifty-three stations of the Tokaido” by Utagawa Yoshikazu humorously depicted and illustrated the tales of stations. In Fujisawa, a young samurai is playing go board game with a horse. This picture suggests the scene of “the Riding a Horse Onikage”, when Oguri escaped by riding Onikage, and a woman sitting next to them is considered as Princess Terute. Utagawa Kuniyoshi, who gained his fame through his warrior pictures, dynamically illustrated the ten heroes who rescued Oguri.
Left) 1: Kunisada Utagawa, Right) 2: Hiroshige Utagawa
3: Yoshikazu Utagawa