Nakamura Utaemon III (中村歌右衛門) as Inanoya Hanbei (稲野屋半兵衛) in <i>Koina Hanbei Kuruwa Iroage</i> [小稲半兵廓色揚げ?]

Shunkōsai Hokushū (春好斎北洲) (artist ca 1808 – 1832)

Nakamura Utaemon III (中村歌右衛門) as Inanoya Hanbei (稲野屋半兵衛) in Koina Hanbei Kuruwa Iroage [小稲半兵廓色揚げ?]


9.75 in x 14.625 in (Overall dimensions) Japanese woodblock print
Signed: Shunkōsai Hokushū ga
Artist's seal: Hokushū
Carver's seal: Kasuke
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg
Hankyu Culture Foundation
Lyon Collection - an 1825 related triptych by Kunisada
Cleveland Museum of Art
Ritsumeikan University Illustrated in black and white in Ōsaka Kagami 大阪鏡 by Jan van Doesburg, Huys den Esch, 1985, page 35, no. 22. The author wrote:

"The few recorded impressions of this print do not show striking differences, apart from the presence or absence of the seal of the carver Kasuke. It is the one of these five prints which is only occasionally met with."

Van Doesburg notes that of the five Hokushū okubi-e prints that he groups this one with, this one shows more curved lines. "The pattern or cranes, based on Utaemon's alternate mon..." also shows up in one of the other prints from this group.


In The Hundred Poets Compared by Henk Herwig and Joshua Mostow it say on page 152 that there is a series of plays based on Koina and Hanbei:

"These stories are based on an actual double suicide (shinju) committed sometime between 1704-10 by the geisha Koina and her lover Inanoya Hanbei. The story staged many times with an ever more baroque plot, culminating in Tsuruya Nanboku IV's 1821 Sanga no shō Soga no shimadai in which Sasano Gonzō, accused of committing adultery, disguises himself as a Fukugawa prostitute named Koina, while the woman he was accused of having an affair with disguises herself as Hanbei. As in all versions, the two lovers eventually kill themselves."


The poem is by Suihenjin.(or perhaps Suihendo), a fan who probably commissioned the print according to John T. Carpenter:

The text on the print reads: 見るからにほれけもさすか名人の仕うちは扨もよい男ふり 水辺人

"Even at first glance, he is so captivating, truly a skilled actor, whose technique, it's true, makes him seem so dashing." (John T. Carpenter translation)


This print commemorates a performance at the Kado Theater.
Nakamura Utaemon III (三代目中村歌右衛門) (actor)
Kyōto-Osaka prints (kamigata-e - 上方絵) (genre)
actor prints (yakusha-e - 役者絵) (genre)
ōkubi-e (大首絵) (genre)