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Plays and Theatre

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Utagawa Kunisada (aka Toyokuni III), Japanese, (1786–1864)
Uwanari, 1852
Ink on Paper
14 1/8 in. x 9 9/16 in. (358.78 mm x 242.89 mm)

Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Edo (Japan, 1615-1868)
Credit Line: Scripps College, Claremont, CA
Accession Number: 1852

Full Title: One of Eighteen Kabuki Plays: Uwanari

On mat, in pencil: 1852 Kunisada (signed Toyokuni). Seal: Toshidama seal. Signed: Kochoro Toyokuni. Censor's seal: double censor's seals (Mera and Watanabe) and date seal (Ne-san).

Colored ink on paper; woodblock print.

Object Description
Edo period color woodblock print with an image of characters from the play "Uwanari". In Uwanari a jealous woman turns into the demon Teruhi no miko and must be exorcised by a Buddhist priest. The play was first performed in 1699 by Ichikawa Danjuro I and has continued in some form ever since in both kabuki and noh theater repertoires. The dramatic transformation of the woman usually takes place on stage, with the beautiful onnagata turning away from the audience and then spinning back around wearing a demon mask and wild looking wig. In this print Ichikawa Danjuro VIII (1823-1854) is thought to be the wrathful woman and Ichikawa Ebizo V (1791-1859) the old priest.



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