Artist: Utagawa Kunihiro (歌川国広)

Print: Memorial Portrait of Arashi Kitsusaburō I (嵐橘三郎) I as Nagai Genzaburō (永井源三郎) from the playKatakiuchi Chikai no Shigarami [敵討義恋柵]

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Dates: 1821,created
Dimensions: 10.5 in,15.5 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Kunihiro ga (国廣画)
Publisher: Tenmaya Kihei (Tenki)
(Marks 536 - seal 21-436)

Related links: Minneapolis Institute of Arts;

Physical description:

The deceased actor Arashi Kitsusaburō I dressed as a 'komuso' or travelling mendicant priest, 'a common disguise for an avenger in search of his foe.' The poem above his head reads 'The fame of the moon remains at Komagaike Pond, after the moon has gone.' this is an allusion to the actor's passing.

Memorial portraits of actors of the Osaka school are rare, bust portraits particularly so. See Keyes, Osaka Prints #20, pages 80/81.

This print was produced in the 9th Month, 1821, 27th day.

According to Keyes this image "is based on a small unsigned drawing by Ashikuni..."

It would appear that there is a 1918 silent film from Japan entitled Nagai Genzaburō. The roles were all performed by Kabuki actors.

There is also a color illustration of this print in Osaka Prints by Dean Schwaab, p. 78.


Illustrated in:

1) Ikeda Bunko, Kamigata yakusha-e shūsei (Collected Kamigata Actor Prints), vol. 2, Osaka, 1998, no 18.
2) black and white in The Legacy of Japanese Printmaking/Le Rayonnement de l'estampe Japonaise by Barry Till, the Art Gallery of Victoria, 1986, pl. #38.
3) color in Schätze der Kamigata: Japanische Farbholzschnitte aus Osaka 1780-1880, MNHA (Musée national d'histoire et d'art Luxembourg), p. 41, #60.


The text reads: おもかけや月の名残の駒か池