“Tenjiku Tokubei”
Kansai HORISHIGE the 5th
関西 五代目彫重 “天竺徳兵衛”


関西 五代目彫重氏がまだ真腰彫を名乗っていた頃に手掛けた、天竺徳兵衛をモチーフに取った圧巻のドンブリ。愛好家には既知であろうが、ドンブリとは手首足首にまで至る総身彫りのことで、臥煙彫りとも呼ぶ。濃淡の絶妙な配分による動きのある額が広範に描かれ、得も言われぬ迫力を生み出している。


A stunning donburi with the motif of Tenjiku Tokubei which was created by Kansai Horishige the 5th, when he was still calling himself Magoshibori. As is well known to enthusiasts, donburi is a type of irezumi bodysuit that extends to the wrists and ankles, and is also called gaen-bori. The dynamic gaku with exquisitely balanced dark and light shading which is applied extensively, creates an inexplicable sense of power.

Note that both sleeves and some small pieces are done by other artists.



Tenjiku Tokubei was a real-life merchant and explorer who traveled to India in the early Edo period. After his death, he is handed down as a sorcerer who is the main character of the Kabuki play “Tenjiku Tokubei Kokubanashi”. It is this fictional character that is commonly used as the subject of ukiyo-e and irezumi.

In this story, Tokubei inherits the dying wish and the sorcery of the toad from his father, who failed in his mission to overthrow the nation, and attempts to kill Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the shogun of the time.

※See Horishige 5th’s interview here
And see more of his work on Instagram

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