Artist: Migita Toshihide (右田年英)

Print: Ichikawa Danjūrō IX [市川 團十郞] in the role of Otokonosuke (男の助)
in the play 'Meiboku Sendai-hagi'

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Dates: 1894,available
Dimensions: 9.21 in,14.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Toshihide (年英)
Artist's seal in red: 年英
Publisher: Sasaki Toyokichi (Marks 450)

Related links: Waseda University;

Physical description:

Arajishi Otokonosuke (荒獅子男之助) is one of the most popular and iconic figures of the kabuki stage and hence the world of ukiyo prints. He is one of the most memorable figures from the play Meiboku Sendai Hagi or 'The Disputed Succession'.

Otokonosuke is determined to protect the life of his young lord, but is prevented from being in the same room as he. In the most dramatic moment in Act IV Otonosuke

"...has taken up a post below the floor of the boy's room. He is waiting there on the alert when he sees a large grey rat coming down through the floor carrying a roll of paper in its mouth. Otokonosuke puts his foot on the rat and tries to kill it with his iron fan. He wounds the beast on the head, but it wriggles away from him and escapes.

The rat vanishes in a cloud of white smoke and in its place is revealed Nikki Danjo, who has occult powers, clad in grey garments and with the document between his teeth. He has a fresh wound on his brow. He traces the character for 'rat' in the air with his finger.

Otokonosuke is powerless against him. Danjo goes off triumphantly having achieved his object of possession of the list of conspirators."


This Toshihide print is from the series 'Mimasu ai sugata' (三升合姿). There are at least 26 other prints in this series.


There are at least three other prints in the Lyon Collection with Otokonosuke in them: #833 by Kuniyoshi; #577 a diptych by Hokushū; and #894 by Kunisada.