The Chushingura is a tale set in the Edo period (1615-1868). It was written about 1748 for the puppet theater but is now most famous as a Kabuki play. It recalls an incident that took place on the night of January 30, 1703, in which the retainers of the disgraced Lord Asano Naganori broke into the mansion of their archenemy Lord Kira Yoshinaka and murdered him. The vendetta completed on their lord’s false accuser, the forty-seven ronin (masterless samurai) were arrested and sentenced to death. Because of their sense of duty to their lord, the Shogun permitted the brave warriors the honor of death by harakiri (ritual suicide).
Open Content Program
The Birmingham Museum of art makes available digital images of works in the Museum’s collection believed to be in the public domain. Images are available free of charge for any use, commercial or non-commercial. Users do not need to contact the Museum for authorization to use these images. They are available through the Online Collection at artsbma.org/collection. See detailed instructions for specific work types below.
Identifying Open Content Images
The mission of the Birmingham Museum of Art is to spark the creativity, imagination, and liveliness of Birmingham by connecting all its citizens to the experience, meaning, and joy of art. The Museum understands that by sharing images of works online without restrictions, the BMA collection becomes more accessible to a larger audience.
For objects with images the rights status is displayed in the “credit line” section of the object information. The rights status or rights holder will be indicated. If the work is in the public domain and/or the image may be downloaded, the download icon will appear in the bottom right corner of the image area. To search the collection click here.
Works With Restrictions
For copyright-protected images that have been approved by copyright holders, a presentation-sized image is available, but can not be downloaded. A copyright statement clearly listing the name of the copyright holder is visible in the credit line area when the image is displayed. Thumbnail-sized images of copyrighted works are displayed under fair use.
When the owner of a work is impossible to determine or contact, the work is deemed an orphan work. The Museum will make thumbnails of orphan works available. If you are the representative or rights holder of an orphan work, please contact Rights and Reproductions.
Please use the following source credit when reproducing an Open Content image: Courtesy Birmingham Museum of Art, followed by the credit line provided in the object description.
Although there are no restrictions or conditions of the use of an Open Content image, the BMA would appreciate a gratis copy of any scholarly publication(s) in which the images are reproduced in order to maintain collection bibliography. Copies may be sent to the attention of:
Open Content Program
Digital Media Department
The Birmingham Museum of Art
2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd
Birmingham, AL 35203
- If an image is not available under Open Content it may be because the work is still under copyright, the work is not owned by the museum, or the work has not yet been photographed to BMA standards.
- Request Images: If an image of a work is not available online or is under copyright, you may submit a request through our online request form. You may also request files in additional sizes or formats. A fee will be charged for this service.
- Our determination of public domain is made in good faith.
- Electronic records are based on historical information and may not be the Museum’s complete or current knowledge about an object. Research is ongoing.
- The ‘On View’ status may be delayed on the website by 24 hours. Please check with our Rights and Registration Office to confirm that a work of art will be on view before traveling to the Museum.
- Titles Scene 12, New Tales of the Forty-seven Ronin (Shimpan Chushingura) (Former title)
- Artist Ichiryusai Kuniteru, Japanese, active 1830 - 1850
- Medium ink and color on paper
- Dimensions 6 1/2 x 9 in. (16.5 x 22.9 cm)
- Credit Line Gift of Lt. Col. and Mrs. Charles C. Bennett, 1997.118.12
- Work Type woodblock print
- Classification Prints
- Signature Recto, seals of censors, bottom right: aratame, Tiger 1 (????) [right to left] Recto, printed in yellow cartouche, lower left on border: Bun / Tsujiokaya (? / ????)
- Marks Recto, seals of censors, bottom right: aratame, Tiger 1 (????) [right to left] Recto, printed in yellow cartouche, lower left on border: Bun / Tsujiokaya (? / ????)
- Inscription Recto, printed in red cartouche, top right: Act 12 of Treasury of Loyal Retainers (???????, Chushingura Junidanme)