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Label on verso, lower right: Bai IV 81a. Text in upper right, in pencil: Kuniyoshi, 'Puppet Dance.' On mat in pencil: Bai IV 81a, "Actor Purifying the Stage." Signed: Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga. Seal: Yoshi-kiri. Censor's seal: double censor's seal (Fukushima and Muramatsu) and date seal (Ushi-ni).
Colored ink on paper; woodblock print.
Edo period color woodblock print with an image of a marionette. Kuniyoshi turns from the kabuki stage to the puppet theater, which was becoming very popular at this time, by showing an actor in the role of a marionette. The costume suggests that the actor has been purifying the stage. The portrait of the unidentified actor follows in the kubi-e (big head) style that was begun in the late 18th century.
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