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Nakamura Utaemon III (中村歌右衛門) as Sukematsu no Kazue (助松かづえ) -
center panel of a triptych based on the play Five Chivalrous Women of the Yoshiwara
(Otokodate iromo Yoshiwara - 男作女吉原)

Identifier: 1811-15c Kunisada Utaemon
Description:

The play that this performance comes from, the Otokodate iromo Yoshiwara, is an Edo version of the better known Natsu matsuri Naniwa kagami. This play opened in the 7/1815 at the Nakamura-za.

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This is the center panel of a triptych. In Sukematsu no Kazue's right hand Utaemon is holding a sandal* while staring at it intensely. In his left hand he is holding the handle of a closed umbrella which is resting on the shoulder of a figure - not shown here - who dominates the right hand panel of the triptych and who is about to strike with his upraised sword..

*Sandals are often used as props in kabuki plays and more often than not they indicate an element of a coming strike from a vendetta or a past act of revenge.

Clearly the sandal is not Utaemon's because he is wearing a pair of geta, standard footwear for many otokodate. Elsewhere Sukematsu Kazue is referred to as a physician.

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The actor's name and role appears in white reserve in the upper left of the sheet.

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