Posted by Judy Hahn (22.214.171.124) on May 13, 2019 at 22:10:20:
In Reply to: Re: Question regarding print by Yosh posted by MichaelO on May 13, 2019 at 00:50:20:
Those are the three roles in the print.
The three characters are a famous kabuki and novel trio
Jiraiya who uses giant toad magic
Orochimaru, who uses giant snake magic
Tsunade, who uses giant slug magic
I probably shows a scene from the kabuki play Jiraiya G˘ketsu Monogatari - The Heroic Tales of Jiraiya - or one of its variations, all based on the serialized novel of that title.
Tsunade is the wife of Jiraiya. Orochimaru is their enemy, and he tries to kill them.
Involved in the action is the allegory, Sansukumi, which can be translated as a "three-way standoff", the second kanji means "to cower" or "to cringe". In artistic terms, the term refers to The Three Cringing Ones, according to Merrily Baird, Symbols of Japan, p. 158 .
The trio is the snail, snake and toad. The snail is capable of poisoning the snake with its slime, the toad able to devour the snail, and the snake able to eat the toad.
The Japanese played a game called sansukumi-ken, a rock/paper/scissors kind of game.
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