(L) Ichikawa Ebizō 市川海老増 (Danjūrō VII) as Masamune Dankurō V 正宗団九郎(left); (C) Ichikawa Danzō 市川団蔵 as Masamune Gorobei 正宗五郎兵衛; (R) Sawamura Tosshō 沢村訥升 as Rai Kunitoshi 来国俊

Utagawa Kunisada 歌川国貞 (Japanese, 1786-1864)

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The play is a story of love, jealousy, intrigue and revenge revolving around a sword offered to the Kiyomizu temple on behalf of the shogun. The assistant on the left "accidentally" swings his mallet towards his rival, the assistant on the right, but the master deflects the strike.

The edges of the sheets are somewhat tattered, but the mat hides them. The prints are soiled, and the inking is incomplete in some areas. Nevertheless, the clear and decisive composition, the dramatic poses and strong, emotional facial expressions together create a powerful visual image.

Object Information

artist
Utagawa Kunisada 歌川国貞 (Japanese, 1786-1864)
period
Edo
creation date
1839
materials
ink on paper, color woodblock print
dimensions
15-1/4 x 10-1/8 in. (image, each, trimmed width)
24-1/2 x 38-1/2 in. (framed)
mark descriptions
Signed by artist: Gototei Kunisada ga
Censor's seal: single kiwame
series
scene from the kabuki play Shin Usuyuki Monogatari
accession number
16.924A-C
credit line
Gift of Eliza M. Niblack
copyright
Public Domain
collection
Asian Art

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