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Asao Kigan (浅尾鬼丸) as Shibukawa Tōma (渋川藤馬)
left-hand panel of a diptych - from the play
Shin Usuyuki monogatari

Identifier: 1816c Kunihira asao onimaru

Shibukawa Tōma was originally a role in a puppet play, Shin Usuyuki monogatari (新薄雪物語). It was based on a novel from 1632 called The Tale of Usuyuki. Versions of this theme first appeared on the kabuki stage in 1685. This is surely from a later adaptation. Tōma is the servant of the villain Daizen who orders him to spy on Usuyuki and the man she loves. Tōma then has a fight with his rival for the attention of one of Usuyuki's ladies-in-waiting. Right before the play ends Tōma gets into another fight with a different set of characters and is slain. And good riddance!


This information is taken directly from Prints of Japan.


There is a reference to a print by Kunihira of this same actor in the collection of the Prefectural Library in Osaka. It is unillustrated online, but may well be another copy of this one in the Lyon Collection.

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