Untitled series of actors’ busts

Publisher:  Fujioka-ya Hikotarô

1839-1840

 

In this series of prints, bust portraits of actors in character are portrayed against a background of solid color that darkens at the top of the sheet.  Above each actor’s heads is a small image of an object associated with the character and a cartouche containing a poem.  Although the poem-containing cartouches vary in shape, they each have the same wave-like pattern of color on an unpigmented background.  This series is not listed in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1961).  The prints are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ôban.

 

Actor: Ichikawa Ebizô V as the pirate Kezori Kuemon

Play: Koi minata Hakata no hitouchi (Love at Sea)

Date:

Theater:

 

He appears self-confident in a costume incorporating both Japanese and European elements.

 

The poem translates:

   Kuemon’s speech

   on the revolving stage

   rings sinister

   while making a good appearance

 

At first glance, this print appears the same as the one above, but the poem in the cartouche bordered by red coral is entirely different.

 

Image courtesy of Richard Illing

 

This is a preparatory drawing for the above two prints

 

Actor: Nakamura Utaemon IV as Mashiba Hisayoshi (筑前守久吉) and Bandô Katsujirô as Teruwaka (輝若君, child)

Play: Go hiiki yakko no konoshita

Date: 7th month of 1840

Theater: Ichimura

 

 

 

Actor: Bandô Shûka I as the kamuro Tayori

Play: Go hiiki yakko no konoshita

Date: 7th month of 1840

Theater: Ichimura

 

 

 

Actor: Ichimura Uzaemon XII as Azuma no Yoshirô

Play: Go hiiki yakko no konoshita

Date: 7th month of 1840

Theater: Ichimura

 

 

Actor: Ichikawa Danjûrô VIII as Hachimantaro Yoshiie

Play: Oshu Adachigahara

Date: 9th month of 1839

Theater: Kawarazaki

 

 

Actor: Ichimura Uzaemon XII as Harunaga (春永)

Play: Go hiiki yakko no konoshita (御贔屓梶虎木下)

Date: 7th month of 1840

Theater: Ichimura

 

NOTE: This print appears to have been made by recarving the woodblocks for the previous print.  I am grateful to Marc DeVriese for this image.

 

Actor: Actor Nakamura Utaemon IV as Naniwa no Jirôsaku

Play: Go hiiki yakko no konoshita (御贔屓梶虎木下)

Date: 7th month of 1840

Theater: Ichimura

 

 

Actor: Sawamura Tosshô I as Komatsuya Sôshichi

Print title: The Good Ship Full House (Ôiri-maru, 大入丸)

Play: Koi no Minato Hakata no hitofushi

Date: 8th month of 1840

Theater: Ichimura

 

I am grateful to Marc DeVriese for this image.

 

 

Actor: Seki Sanjûrô II as Konishi Chosuke (小西)

Play:

Date:

Theater:

 

 

 

Actor: Arashi Kichisaburô III as Satô Masakiyo

Play: Gion Sairei Shinkôki (祇園祭礼信仰記)

Theater: Nakamura

Date: 8th month of 1840

 

 

 

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