Set of Views of Fuji from Edo in Iroha Order

(Nanatsu iroha Tôto Fuji zukushi, 七ツいろは東都富士盡)

Publisher: Ebi-ya Rinnosuke

1852

 

This series of prints shows bust portraits of kabuki actors in character in front of a view of Mount Fuji as seen from Edo (modern Tokyo).  The cartouche in the right upper corner is bordered by objects from the play.  Instead of being numbered, the right upper corner of each cartouche contains a syllable that may be arranged in an alphabet-like order called iroha.  This series is listed as number 181 in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1961).  The prints in this series are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ôban.  I am grateful to Ward Pieters for assisting with this series.

 

Actor: Sawamura Chôjûrô V as Fujiya Izaemon in the kabuki play Kuruwa Bunsho

View of Mt. Fuji: Mount Fuji seen from Ayase

Iroha order: No. 1 (, i)

 

 

Actor:

View of Mt. Fuji:

Iroha order: No. 3 (, ha)

 

 

Actor: Ickikawa Danjûrô VIII as Jiraiya, a Robin Hood-like bandit who appeared in a series of plays

View of Mt. Fuji:

Iroha order: No. 4 (, ni)

 

 

Actor: Ichimura Uzaemon XII as Abe no Yasuna in the kabuki play Ashiya dauman ochi kagami

View of Mt. Fuji: Mt. Fuji from Ochanomizu (by Yoshi’iku)

Iroha order: No. 5 (, ho)

 

 

 

Actor: Onoe Baikô IV as Chidori holding cloth around her shoulders

View of Mt. Fuji: Mt. Fuji from across the bay

Iroha order: No. 6 (, he)

 

 

Actor: Onoe Kikujirô II as Gonda Imoto Osato in the kabuki play Goban Tadanobu yuki no nachiguro

View of Mt. Fuji: Mt. Fuji from Tsukudajima, with fireworks being launched from a boat

Iroha order: No. 9 (, ri)

 

Information courtesy of Guy Pepermans

 

 

 

Actor: Bandô Takesaburô I as Inuma Katsugorô in the kabuki play Hakone Reigen Izari no Adauchi

View of Mt. Fuji: Mt. Fuji from Kudan-zaka (slope)

Iroha order: No. 10 (, nu)

 

 

Actor: Ichikawa Danjûrô VIII as Maruami Gorô

View of Mt. Fuji: view of Mt. Fuji from Gojô Bridge

Iroha order: No 14 (, ka)

 

Information courtesy of Guy Pepermans

 

 

 

Actor: Ichikawa Kuzô II as the yakko (servant) Yokampei in the kabuki play Ashiya Doman Ouchi Kagami

View of Mt. Fuji:

Iroha order: No. 15 (, yo)

 

 

Actor: Ichikawa Ebizô V as Igami no Gonta in the kabuki play Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura

View of Mt. Fuji: Mount Fuji seen from the Sumida River

Iroha order: No. 16 (, ta)

 

 

Actor: Matsumoto Kôshirô

View of Mt. Fuji:

Iroha order: 18 (, so)

 

 

Actor: Bandô Shûka I as Urami Kuzunoha (fox) in the kabuki play Ashiya dauman ochi kagami

View of Mt. Fuji: Mt. Fuji from the Ketanborô rice paddies (signed Torter)

Iroha order: No. 21 (, na)

 

 

Actor: Iwai Hanshiro VII as Oboshi Rikiya Koretaka

View of Mt. Fuji: Mt Fuji from Man-nen bridge by Tori (Kuniyoshi’s daughter Yoshitori)

Iroha order: No. 22 (, ra)

 

 

Actor: Nakamura Kanemon IV as Gotobei in the kabuki play Yoshitsune Koshigoe-jo

View of Mt. Fuji: Mt. Fuji from a street in Edo where a festival procession is taking place

Iroha order: No. 24 (, u)

 

 

Another state of the above print

 

Actor: Unidentified actor as Nogitsunehei

View of Mt. Fuji: Mount Fuji seen from offshore Takanawa

Iroha order: No. 26 (, no)

 

 

 

 

 

Actor:

View of Mt. Fuji:

Iroha order: No. 28 (, ku)

 

 

Actor: actor as poet Ono-no Tofu in the kabuki play Ono no Tofu aoyagi suzuri

View of Mt. Fuji:

Iroha order: No. 32 (, fu)

 

 

Actor: Arashi Kichisaburô III as the sumô wrestler Inuta Kobungo Yasuyori in a kabuki play based on Bakin’s novel Nansô satomi hakkenden

View of Mt. Fuji:

Iroha order: No. 33 (, ko)

 

 

Actor: Nakayama Bungoro as Akuemon

View of Mt. Fuji: Mount Fuji seen from Hiroo

Iroha order: No. 36 (, a)

 

 

 

Actor: Matsumoto Kôshirô V as Kimon Kihei in the kabuki play Osome Hisamatsu ukina yomiuri

View of Mt. Fuji: view of Mt. Fuji from Sekiya-sato with a boat and an orange tree

Iroha order: No. 38 (, ki)

 

 

Actor: Bandô Mitsugorô III as Ôboshi Yuranosuke

View of Mt. Fuji: Mt. Fuji from Dokan-yama by Tori (Kuniyoshi’s daughter Yoshitori)

Iroha order: No. 39 (, yu)

 

 

Actor: Ichikawa Kodanji IV as Akamatsu Shigetamaru (dressed as Uratashi Yasonosuke) in the kabuki play Otogi banashi hakata no imaori performed at the Nakamura Theater in the ninth month of 1852

View of Mt. Fuji: Mt. Fuji seen from Tsurumi with a falcon in flight

Iroha order: No. 41 (, mi)

 

This is one of several series of prints Kuniyoshi designed consisting of bust portraits with irregularly shaped cartouches in the right upper corner.  In each of these series, the cartouche is bordered by small pictures.  The table below shows a typical cartouche from each of these series as well as the script within the cartouche that identifies the series.  The color of the cartouches is not a reliable guide to identifying the series, as it may vary with successive printings. 

English title: Mirror of the Loyal Courage of the Faithful Retainers

Japanese title: Chûshin giyû kagami

Description: Bust of an actor as one of the Forty-seven Rônin with a landscape background

English title: Famous Views of Edo Selected for the Twelve Months

Japanese title: Edo meisho mitate jû-ni ka gwatsu no uchi

Description: Bust of actor with landscape in upper half of print above a stylized cloud

English title: Selection for the Twelve Signs

Japanese title: Mitate jûnishi no uchi

Description: Bust of an actor with a full-length figure of another actor in a landscape as a background

English title: Set of Views of Fuji from Edo in Iroha Order

Japanese title: Nanatsu iroha Tôto Fuji zukushi

Description: Actor’s bust with landscape showing Mount Fuji inserter in the left upper corner

English title: Celebrated Products of Mountains and Seas

Japanese title: Sankai medetai zue

Description: Bust of beautiful woman with insert of landscape showing provincial industry in left upper corner

NOTE: Various scripts were used in this series, but the two kanji shown at left are most consistent

English title: Thirty-six Fashionable Restaurants of the Eastern Capital

Japanese title: Tôto ryûkô san-jû-rokkwaiseki

Description: Bust of actor with restaurant in background

English title: Military Brilliance for the Eight Views

Japanese title: Yôbu hakkei

Description: Bust of a military hero in a landscape

 

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