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Artist: Hasegawa Sadanobu I (初代長谷川貞信)

Print: Bandō Jutarō I (坂東寿太郎) as Lady Iwafuji (局岩ふじ) on the right, Nakamura Tomijūrō II (中村富十郎) as the Servant Ohatsu (お初), and Mimasu Gennosuke I (三枡源之助) as Chūrō Onoe (中老尾上) on the left in the play Mirror Mountain: A Woman's Treasury of Loyalty (Kagamiyama Kokyō no Nishikie)

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Dates: created,1838
Dimensions: 30.0 in,15.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese color woodblock print
Inscription:

Signed: Hasegawa Sadanobu ga
長谷川貞信画
Publisher: Tenmaya Kihei (Marks 536 - seal 21-193)

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Kansai University Library; Kabuki21 - summary of the play Kagamiyama; Hankyu Culture Foundation - right panel; Hankyu Culture Foundation - left panel ;

Physical description:

This triptych commemorates a performance of Kagamiyama Kokyō no Nishikie (加賀見山旧錦絵) at Kado Theater in 1838/1.

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The curatorial files at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston say:

The background of the triptych represents a woven plaid fabric, with appliqued letters made of other dyed fabrics spelling out the title of the play. This unusual compositional technique gives a fresh twist to the ever-popular story of the brave maidservant Ohatsu, who foils the plots of the evil lady-in-waiting Iwafuji.

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston gives the title of this play this translation: Color Prints of the Old Home Town at Mirror Mountain.

In Revenge Drama in European Renaissance and Japanese Theatre: From Hamlet to Madame Butterfly by Kevin J. Wetmore, the title is translated as Mirror Mountain: A Woman's Treasury of Loyalty, which Wetmore notes "...is often called 'The Female Chushingura because both the avenger and the target of the revenge are women." (p. 11)

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This play is referenced in Edo Culture: Daily Life and Diversions in Urban Japan, 1600-1868 by Matsunosuke Nishiyama on page 128:

Rural audiences were often extremely naive. Spectators might climb onto the stage and injure actors playing villains such as Sadakurō in Kanadehon chūshingura or Iwafuji in Kagamiyama kokyō no nishiki-e. Conversely, a handsome actor of young lover roles was lionized by rural girls. Their squeals of delight were sure to accompany him wherever he went.

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The two outer prints of this grouping are illustrated in Ikeda Bunko, Kamigata yakusha-e shūsei, vol. 3, Osaka, 2001, No 12.

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Like most kabuki plays known today only a few acts of this play have been preserved and are still being performed. In volume 2 of Kabuki Plays on Stage..., edited by James Brandon and Samuel Leiter, there is a discussion and translation of Kagamiyama Kokyō no Nishikie, pp. 172-212.

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Illustrated in black and white in Ukiyo-e Masterpieces in European Collections: Musées Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire, Brussels, vol. 9, Kodansha, 1989, p. 208, #138.