Artist: Ryūsai Shigeharu (柳斎重春)

Print: Nakamura Utaemon III as Jiraiya in the play Yaemusubi Jiraiya Monogatari [柵自来也談] (The story of Jiraiya at the weir) - left-hand panel of a diptych

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Dates: 1832,created
Dimensions: 10.0 in,14.5 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Ryūsai Shigeharu ga

Related links: Honolulu Museum of Art; Pushkin Museum of Art; Hankyu Culture Foundation; Lyon Collection - the full diptych;

Physical description:

Click on the print to enlarge it. In the dark clouds above Jiraiya's head and slightly to the left is a poem by Nakamura Utaemon III, signed with one of his poetry names, Baigyoku (梅玉).

Osaka Prints says of this poem: "The poem, printed in copper-rich brass to simulate gold, was composed by the actor Utaemon signing as Baigyoku (梅玉): Dai kataha aomi kachi nari-hatsu mo michi (大かたは青みかちなり初もみち), meaning "Early fall foliage is mostly green; red is a long way off." "


Jiraiya can often be identified by his '100 Day' wig or hyakunichi (百日).

A type of wild, bushy wig (鬘) worn by villains meant to indicate a head of hair uncut for at least 100 days. It is also called a daibyaku. There is also a 50 day look in the gojūnichi.

"Long hair stands up bristle-like from the crown. The wig's name is highly conventional as no one's hair could grow this long in 100 days.... The main version, the hyakunichi no tare, includes a long pony tail bound near the bottom with a gold rope...." The "...softness of the top hair also suggests that the character is not well, perhaps due to an excess of fear and anger."

Quote from: New Kabuki Encyclopedia by Samuel L. Leiter, p. 179.


Probably from the series of oban sized surimono, engraved by Kasuke and issued in 1832-3. For another example see Keyes, Osaka Prints pg. 128/9.


Illustrated in color in Ikeda Bunko, Kamigata yakusha-e shūsei (Collected Kamigata Actor Prints), vol. 2, Osaka, 1998, no 162.