Watanabe No Tsuna and the Ibaraki Demon in Japanese Art

Come see me at the Kryolan Professional Makeup booth at IMATS New York, April 14 to see the painted body I’ve designed based on this image research and the story of the battle between Watanabe no Tsuna and the Irabaki Demon.

I had no idea this story was such a well known legend until I did a Google Image search of “Watanabe No Tsuna” and turned up a lot of results, many of them depictions of the battle with the Irabaki Demon. Here are a few:

Depicting the demon having recovered her arm - by Kiyotada

This 1820 woodcut has the samurai on horseback as he battles the demon

I found three versions by Kuniyoshi, my go-to guy for inspiration in Japanese art

The 3 by Kuniyoshi depict the moment when Tsuna is cutting off the arm

And in them, Tsuna is grabbing the demon's arm with one hand and swinging his sword with the other

The book I have of Kuniyoshi prints also includes a few of his rough sketches. This one I am using as the model for Tsuna as he confronts the demon on the bridge

a cool illustration of the legend as a Kabuki play

This print by Kunisada depicts Tsuna as one of the 4 companions of samurai Raiko in his battle against the Earth Spider -- which is a Japanese legend I've told around Halloween for a few years.

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