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Artist: Utagawa Toyokuni I (初代歌川豊国)

Print: Samawura Gennosuke I (澤村源之助) in the role of Miuranosuke Yoshiaki (三浦之介義明) in the play Kamakura sandaiki or Three Generations of Kamakura Shoguns - 鎌倉三代記

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Dates: circa 1808,created
Dimensions: 9.875 in,14.75 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print
Inscription:

Signed: Toyokuni ga (豊国画)
Publisher: Mikawaya Seiemon (Marks 328 seal 16-011)
Censor's seal: kiwame

Related links: Japan Arts Council - photograph and background in Japanese of this play;

Physical description:

This character is from a play "...dealing with the fall of Osaka Castle, but placing the action in the medieval Kamakura period (1185-1333) because of legal restrictions upon dramatizing recognizable events related to the samurai of the Edo period. The battle of Osaka Castle was dramatized in many plays, including Ōmi Genji Senjin Yakata, to which the present work is occasionally described as a sequel. Like that play, it hints that Hōjō Tokimasa is Tokugawa Ieyasu, Sasaki Takatsuna is Sanada Yukimura, Miuranosuke is Kimura Shigenari, and Princess Toki is Princess Sen. Also, Kyoto stands in for Osaka and Kamakura for Edo."

Quoted from: The New Kabuki Encyclopedia by Samuel L. Leiter, p. 264.

"In action often cut before the main part begins, Nagano, mother of the young Genji warrior Sakamoto Miuranosuke Yoshimura, is ill in her cottage at Kimgawa Village on Lake Biwa, not far from where her son is engaged in the battle of Sakamoto Castle. Miuranosuke is engaged to Princess Toki, daughter of his current enemy, the Heike general Hōjō Tokimasa. Tokimasa sends for Toki to leave the household of her enemy, but Nagano, who is being cared for by Toki, does not allow her to depart. Toki, believing her duty is to her future husband and not to her father, refuses to leave. When two ladies-in-waiting, who have come to fetch her, see the kind of menial work she does for Nagano, they decide to force her to return with them." The Genji general Sasaki Takatsuna goes to force Toki to return to her father. He disguises himself as a farmer and sends the ladies-in-waiting back to their castle so he can do the job himself. He lies in wait after they depart. (Ibid., p. 265)

"The seriously wounded Miuranosuke comes running from the battle to his mother's bedside, fighting off attackers as he makes his way home. He faints, only to be revived by Toki, who presence at the cottage surprises but delights him. Nagano rejects him, claiming that he must be a fox-spirit, as not warrior would leave in the middle of a battle, but if it really is he, she will disown him for behaving so sentimentally. He sadly prepares to leave but Toki, thinking she may never see him again, begs him to remain the night. It is his mother's suffering, though, that convinces him to return."

The rest of the play is increasingly convoluted with suicides, attempted suicides, ever-shifting plot themes, and an assassination which is actually a case of mistaken identity followed by another suicide. A damned bloody mess everywhere and in all things. And, to top it off Miuranosuke has died too of his wounds. The end.(Ibid.)