Antique Japanese woodblock print of a sumo wrestler of the Utagawa Kuniyoshi studio. Kuniyoshi was a pupil of the master Utagawa Toyokuni. He is part of the Ukiyo-e tradition of print making. His works are noteworthy for their use of color and patterns. He developed a style for portraits of kabuki actors and warriors with an emphasis on omens, dreams, apparitions, and extraordinary feats. This print depicts a sumo wrestler wearing a ceremonial kesho-mawashi, heavily embroidered covering that opens like an apron with heavy tassels at the bottom. Sumo wrestlers, of the upper divisions makuuchi and juryo, wear them as they enter the ring. They often depict the clan crest of the feudal lord, daimyo, sponsoring them. This lord has a simple double black stripe on a white background with black tassels.
This print measures 14.25" tall by 9.25" wide. The back has 1/1500 written in pencil. It s in good condition with some signs of age. Edo period, 19th century.