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Artist: Shunbaisai Hokuei (春梅斎北英)

Print: Nakamura Utaemon III as Sute Wakamaru; Onoe Tamizō II as Miura Hitachi; Nakamura Tomijūrō II (中村富十郎) as Gion Okaji (ぎおんおかじ); Bandō Jūtarō I as Saito Kuranosuke in the play Keisei chigogafuchi (The Chigogafuchi Pool)

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Dates: 1833,created
Dimensions: 39.25 in,15.0 in,Overall dimensions
Inscription:

Signed: Shunkōsai Hokuei ga
(on each sheet)
春江斎北英画
Publisher: Wataya Kihei
(Marks 579 - seal 12-008)

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Hankyu Culture Foundation - far right panel; Hankyu Culture Foundation - 2nd from right; Hankyu Culture Foundation - 2nd from left; Hankyu Culture Foundation - left panel; Lyon Collection - the two left hand panels;

Physical description:

These panels help commemorate a performance of Keisei chigogafuchi (The Chigogafuchi Pool) at the Kado Theater in Osaka in the first month of 1833.

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(1R) Nakamura Utaemon III as Sute Wakamaru; (2R) Onoe Tamizō II (L) as Miura Hitachi; (3R) Nakamura Tomijūrō II as Gion Okaji; (4R) Bandō Jûtarō as Saito Kuranosuke in Keisei chigogafuchi, Kado no Shibai, Osaka

Background

"The Chigo Deeps (Chigo ga fuchi) of the play title Keisei chigogafuchi (A courtesan and deep water at Chigo: けいせい稚児淵) was located off the island of Enoshima. It was there in the twelfth century that a young temple page (chigo) named Shiragikumaru committed suicide rather than choose between two priests who vied for his love. Elements of this ancient tale were also adapted for the present play about the legendary sixteenth-century outlaw Ishikawa Goemon."

This information was taken directly from Osakaprints.com.

Design

The sprinkling of brass particles in the sky in the present grouping (except for the right hand panel which was acquired separately) is a distinct curiosity, possibly representing proof copies for testing the application of these metallics. No other impressions with this effect are known for this design.

References: Kabuki nenpyō (Chronology of Kabuki). Ihara, T. (ed.). Vol. 6. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1961, p. 264;
Kamigata shibai-e ten zoroku (Illustrated Record of an Exhibition of Kamigata Theater Prints). Matsudaira, Susumu. [Ikeda Bunko Library collection]. Tokyo: Kokuritsu Gekijō, 1985, pp. 84-85, no. 107