I purchased this print because it
appealed to me on several levels: early Toyokunis can be very attractive;
the colors are particularly strong; and this image is especially evocative.
Why? Because in the legendary lore Ishikawa Goemon is boiled alive in the
end. That is why it is so interesting that the actor portraying this
character is pulling an image of Goemon out of a container which is meant to
boil water. Is he prescient? It would seem so.
Most likely this is a scene from
one of the many plays devoted to this figure. However, up to now I haven't
found the exact reference.