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Artist: Utagawa Kunisada III (三代目歌川国貞)

Print: Kyōgen jōruri opening - Nakamura Fukusuke IV (中村福助), the woman on the far right - Onoe Ushinosuke II (尾上丑之助) is the skeleton next to her - Onoe Kikugorō V (尾上菊五郎) is the man on stilts - Onoe Eizaburō V (尾上栄三郎) is the woman in the pink dress on the left

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Dates: 1893,created
Dimensions: 30.25 in,15.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese color woodblock prints
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Signed: ōju Kōchōrō hitsu
應需香朝楼筆
Publisher: Fukuda Kumajirō
Carver: Watanabe Tsunejirō

Related links: Harvard Art Museums; Edo Tokyo Museum; Japan Arts Council; Waseda University - right panel; Hagi Uragami Museum of Art; National Library of Australia; Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts - misattributed as being by Kunichika;

Physical description:

Triptych of actors in Western costume and stilts as puppets and skeletons. This is a kyōgen jōruri opening at the Ichimura Theater (Ichimura za kaijō jōruri kyōgen 市村座開場浄瑠璃狂言).

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Illustrated:

1) in Ukiyo-e: The Art of the Japanese Print by Frederick Harris, #195, accompanied by a small color reproduction. Harris writes: "It is difficult to tell if these actors are imitating puppets as they have strings attached to them or if they are part of a humorous play that included skeletons." He also places the date as the 1880s and not as 1893 as others do.

2) in black and white in The Arts of Meiji Japan 1868-1912: Changing Aesthetics, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Barry Till, p. 81.

3) in color in Japanese Prints: Images of the Floating World, Barry Davies Oriental Art, #191, illustrated on p. 201.