Kunichika Toyohara, Kabuki, A Mirror of Osaka, Tattoo

£750.00
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Artist: Kunichika Toyohara (1835-1900)
Title: Natsumatsuri Naniwa Kagami (A Mirror of Osaka, Summer Festival)
Publisher: Yonemoto Eikichi
Date: 1883
Size: (L) 35.3 x 25.0 (C) 35.4 x 24.8 (R) 35.5 x 25.0 cm
Condition: Some wear and paper residue on the margins. Minor spots. Small backed vertical crease through the middle panel.

The actors Ichikawa Danjuro IX in the role of otokodate Danshichi Kurobei (middle) murdering his father-in-law Giheiji (left) as played by Ichikawa Sadanji I. Onoe Kikugoro V in the role of Issun Tokubei is seen on the right. Danshichi Kurobei is tattooed with a dragon.

 

The scene depicted here is one of kabuki's most famous episodes, the 'Nagamachi noura no ba' (Back Street Scene in Nagamachi). Overcome with rage, Danshichi, his knotted hair falling to his shoulders, strips down to a red loincloth, revealing his tattooed body. Danshichi takes the old man's life with a thrust of his sword, then washes splattered blood and Giheiji’s muddy handprints from his body, using water from a nearby well. He escapes by mingling with the large crowd of festival celebrants.

 

In stage performances during Japan's hot summers, the use of real mud and real water would have given the audience a pleasant feeling of coolness.

More Information
Artist Name Kunichika Toyohara
Title Natsumatsuri Naniwa Kagami (A Mirror of Osaka, Summer Festival)
Subject Samurai & Male, Kabuki
Condition Report Some wear and paper residue on the margins. Minor spots. Small backed vertical crease through the middle panel.
Dimensions (L) 35.3 x 25.0 (C) 35.4 x 24.8 (R) 35.5 x 25.0 cm