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Eighteen Kabuki Plays: Kanjincho

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Torii Kiyosada, Japanese, (1844–1901)
Torii Kiyotada VII, VII, Japanese, (active 1875–1941)
Eighteen Kabuki Plays: Kanjincho, 1896
Ink on Paper
36.6 cm x 24.2 cm (14 7/16 in. x 9 1/2 in.)


Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Purchased with funds from the Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Cultures
Accession Number: 2001.2.16


Alternate Title: Kabuki Juhachiban: Kanjincho

Commentary
“Eighteen Kabuki Plays: Subscription List / Kabuki juhachiban: Kanjincho!”
by Torii Kiyosada (1844-1901) & Kiyotada VII (active 1875-1941) 1896

Kanjincho first performed in 1702 by Danjuro I covers the exploits of the 12th century warriors Benkei and Minamoto no Yoshitsune as they flee from the capital. Togashi Saemon is charged with guarding a border barrier, and when some warriors try to pass as monks collecting contributions, Togashi asks to see their subscription list. Benkei (acted here by Danjuro IX) pulls out a blank scroll and then loudly proclaims fictitious donor names and their contributions.

Marks
Signed: "Torii Kiyosada" w/ red square seal and "Tadakiyo" [Kiyotada VII] w/ red artist's seal.

Medium
Color woodblock print; ink on paper; oban tat-e.

Object Description
Edo period color woodblock print, depicting two blocks with portraits of the actor Ichikawa Danjuro, from the play "Kanjincho." Kanjincho, possibly the most popular kabuki play, covers the exploits of the 12th century warriors Benkei and Minamoto no Yoshitsune as they flee from the capital. This text of this play, first written and acted by Danjuro I in 1702, did not survive beyond the basic premise and title Kanjincho “The Subscription List.” It was rewritten in 1840 by Danjuro VII and still performed today.

This print showcases the two leading characters, Benkei and Yoshitsune

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