Ryūsai Shigeharu (柳斎重春) (artist 1802 – 1852)

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

Print


08/1832
10 in x 14.5 in (Overall dimensions) Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Ryūsai Shigeharu ga
柳斎重春画
Honolulu Museum of Art
Pushkin Museum of Art
Hankyu Culture Foundation
Lyon Collection - the full diptych

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." "

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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.

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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.

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Illustrated in color in Ikeda Bunko, Kamigata yakusha-e shūsei (Collected Kamigata Actor Prints), vol. 2, Osaka, 1998, no 162.
actor prints (yakusha-e - 役者絵) (genre)
Nakamura Utaemon III 三代目中村歌右衛門 (actor)
Kyōto-Osaka prints (kamigata-e - 上方絵) (genre)
Jiraiya (自来也) (role)