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Title

May - Yanone and June - Tenno festival


Artists

Utagawa KUNISADA /TOYOKUNI III

Japan

1786 - 1865

Utagawa KUNIHISA

Japan

1832 - 1891


About

The series from which this comes from is a 'mitate' (representation) of seasons, and this print depicts May and June. The characteristic makeup of the kabuki actor is called 'kumadori', and was developed from the 17th century. The various types of 'kumadori' emphasises the movement of facial muscles, and form an integral part of 'aragoto' plays (rough stuff). The red 'kumadori' indicates strength, which was probably the reason this image was chosen to represent May, the month of the Boy's Festival.

The play, Arrow Head ('Ya-no Ne') is one of the Eighteen Plays ('Kabuki Juhachiban') which was developed around 1832 as a selection of successful kabuki classics of the Ichikawa Family actors. Some of the eighteen plays have been absorbed into other plays, but Arrow Head, like Kanjincho, is one of the most popularly played items. In the story, Soga-no Goro, a popular kabuki hero who is planning to avenge his murdered father, falls asleep while sharpening large arrow heads. His brother Juro appears in the dream, calling for help. Goro wakes up, grabs a horse and rides away to rescue his brother.

The image of the Tenno festival in the insert is signed by Utagawa Kunihisa (1832-1891). Kunihisa studied under Kunisada and married his daughter.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, November 1994.


Details


Alternative title

Mitate jû-ni kagetsu no uchi Go-gatsu Yane (illeg.) Roku-gatsu Tenno matsuri


Place where the work was made

Japan


Date

1859


Media category

Print


Materials used

colour woodcut


Dimensions

35.9 x 25.2 cm image; 36.7 x 25.3 cm sheet


Signature & date

Signed l.r., in Japanese, ink [incised on block] "Ichiyôsai Toyokuni hitsu [picture by Ichiyôsai Toyokuni, and artist's seal]". Not dated. Signed u.l. [in the inserted image], in Japanese, ink [incised on block] "Kunihisa ga [picture by Kunihisa]". Not dated.


Credit

Purchased 1994


Location

Not on display


Accession number

647.1994


Artist information

Utagawa KUNISADA /TOYOKUNI III

Works in the collection

49

Artist information

Utagawa KUNIHISA

Works in the collection

3


Place

Where the work was made
Japan

Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history