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Ichikawa Danjuro II in the Role of Soga Goro (Reproduction)

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Torii Kiyotomo, Japanese, (active 1720–1740)
Ichikawa Danjuro II in the Role of Soga Goro (Reproduction), 1722
Ink on Paper
12 1/2 in. x 6 1/2 in. (31.75 cm. x 16.51 cm.)


Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Edo (Japan, 1615-1868)
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. James W. Johnson
Accession Number: 46.1.143


Alternate Title: Ichikawa Danjuro schichi-no-ji zukushi serifu (Reproduction)

Commentary
Reproduced by Adachi (seal on verso).

Ichikawa Danjuro II in the role of Soga Goro
Reproduction of a design by Torii Kiyotomo, 1722

Danjuro II, like his father, was noted for his rough and tumble style / aragoto, in which actions are exaggerated and fight scenes are quite spectacular. In this image he is in the role of Soga Goro proclaiming a message, which is also written around him. In the early years of kabuki, scripts were more like outlines of the action rather than carefully written texts, but some actors perfected monologues which were then recorded and preserved in prints like this. This particular monologue was known for its many puns and wordplays.

Marks
On verso in pencil: Kiyotomo, Reproduction, Johnson VIII 52. Japanese text over entire piece, surrounding a figure of a man. Signed: Torii Kiyotomo hitsu.

Medium
Colored ink on paper; woodblock print.

Object Description
Edo period color woodblock print with a portrait of a Danjuro II in an orange kimono, holding onto his hat, surrounded by text.

Danjuro II, like his father, was noted for his rough and tumble style, aragoto, in which actions are exaggerated and the fight scenes are spectacular. In this image he is proclaiming a message, which is also written around him. In the early years of kabuki, scripts were more like outlines of the action rather than carefully written texts, but some actors perfected monologues which were then recorded and preserved in prints like this.

This careful reproduction of the original design is hand-colored, like Torii School prints of the 1710-30’s, using the brilliant orange and yellow vegetable pigments that would have attracted kabuki audiences into the theaters of Kyoto and Edo.

Publisher
Iga-ya seal.

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