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Title

The actors Ichikawa Kodanji IV as the ghost of Kozakura Tôgô and as the tea server Inba, actually the ghost of Tôgô (R), Bandô Hikosaburô IV as Orikoshi Tairyô, Iwai Kumesaburô III as the secret mistress Katsuragi, and Ichikawa Kodanji IV as Koshimoto Sakuragi, actually the ghost of Tôgô (L)

1851


Artist

Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Japan

1797 - 1861


About

Utagawa Kuniyoshi was an artist famed for his extraordinary illustrations of scenes from literature and legend as well as the popular Japanese theatre. He was also a teacher of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi and Kawanabe Kyôsai.

A scene from a kabuki play of 1851, the sheet on the right shows the actor Ichikawa Kodanji IV as the ghost of Kozakura Tôgô and as the ghost of the tea server (chadô). Shown on the left are the actors Bandô Hikosaburô IV as Orikoshi Tairyô, Iwai Kumesaburô III as the secret mistress (Myô) Katsuragi, and Ichikawa Kodanji IV as Koshimoto Sakuragi (actually the ghost of Tôgô). The play was based on true events of 1653, with the names of the characters changed to avoid censorship. It is the only known kabuki about political protest and the plight of farmers whose livelihoods were destroyed by greedy samurai. Asakura Tôgô, the mayor of the devastated town, confronts the shogun about the situation, knowing that his stance will result in his death and that of his family. After death, he haunts those responsible for the suffering of his townspeople.


Details


Date

1851


Media category

Print


Materials used

woodblock print; ink and colour on paper


Dimensions

37.7 x 52.2 cm


Credit

Yasuko Myer Bequest Fund


Location

Not on display


Accession number

141.2019


Artist information

Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Works in the collection

26