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  • 執筆者の写真Michi

Selection from the Collection of Chiba City Museum of Art XXII


The exhibition selected from the permanent collection is on view from Dec.6~Dec.25, 2022.

⁂Ukiyoe focus on Kabuki Star ICHIKAWA Danjuro (市川団十郎) and others

The light colored painting on paper above depicted Soga Brothers Confrontation scene - The actors Sawamura Sojuro III(三代目沢村宗十郎) as Soga Juro (曾我十郎), Bando Mitsugoro II (二代目坂東三津五郎) as Asahina (朝比奈), Segawa Kikunojo III (三代目瀬川菊之丞) as Wada's Daughter Toragozen (虎御前).

UTAGAWA Toyohiro 歌川豊広(1773~1828) painted a scene from 'The tale of Soga' which was one of the extremely popular subjects for kabuki plays. It was a revenge story that Soga brothers assassinated Kudo Suketsune(工藤祐経) during the Fuji no Makigari hunting event in 1193, because Suketsune killed Soga brothers’ biological father.

The title of the woodblock print above is 'The Actor Ichikawa Danjuro II Wrestling with a Tiger' by TORII Kiyomasu 鳥居清倍, the date of birth and death unknown. Kiyomasu depicted Aragoto (荒事) , or rough style performance by Ichikawa Danjuro III. Please look at the masterful skills of depicting the mighty muscles. The monochrome ink with bright red color contributes to the attractive woodblock print.

It was published in 1713 (正徳3年).

UTAGAWA Toyokuni 歌川豊国 (1769~1825) depicted an actor Ichikawa Danjuro XII as Taira no Kagekiyo. Toyokuni depicted Kagekiyo disguising himself as a Buddist monk carrying a long-handled sword to attack Minamotono Yoritomo. The play of Kagekiyo is one of the Kabuki Juhachiban, or Eighteen Best Kabuki Plays which were chosen and assembled by an actor Ichikawa Danjuro VII (1800-1832).

The print was published in 1828 (文政11年).

UTAGAWA Toyokuni III (1786~1864) depicted an Actor Ichikawa Danjuro V (1741~1806) as Taira no Kagekiyo. Danjuro had KUMADORI, or a stage makeup, to symbolize Kagekiyo's tragedy that he willingly starved to death after defeated in the Battle of Dan-no-ura in 1185.

The print was published in 1863 (文久3年).

UTAGAWA Toyokuni III depicted an Actor Ichikawa Danjuro VIII (1823~1854) as Sukeroku in Agemaki, which was one of the Kabuki Juhachiban (Eighteen Best Kabuki Plays). And the play is well known in English as 'The Flower of Edo'. Agemaki, who was a high ranking courtesan, was Sukeroku’s lover. Danjuro VIII won popularity in any performance with his natural beauty.

The print was published in March 1860 (万延元年).

⁂Printings in the 20th century: Stage/Actor prints

YAMAMURA Koka 山村耕花 (1885~1942) depicted an actor Kataoka Nizaemon XI as Kakiemon, from the series Stars of Kabuki, who was full of anguish because Aritaya Gohei plotted to break off the engagement of Kakiemon's daughter Otsu.

The print was published in 1920 (大正9年).

The woodbblock print above is 'Toragozen in Soga, from series Complete Works of Chikamatsu' by ISHIKAWA Toraji 石川寅治(1875~1964). Toragozen often appeared in kabuki plays of 'the tale of Soga'.

Toraji depicted Toragozen who was a concubine(愛人) of Soga Juro Sukenari(曾我十郎祐成)who was killed after assassinating Kudo Suketsune(工藤祐経) and became a nun, visiting sacred places to hold memorial services after his death.

It was published in 1923 (大正12年).

More about Chiba City Museum of Art: please access

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