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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

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.


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.


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

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