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Plays and Theatre

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Chikanobu Yoshu, Japanese, (1838–1912)
Untitled kabuki theater poster: “Battles of Coxinga”, August 1883
Ink on Paper
13 7/8 in. x 27 3/4 in. (35.24 cm x 70.49 cm)

Object Type: print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Meiji (Japan, 1869-1912)
Credit Line: Purchased with funds from the Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Cultures
Accession Number: 2003.1.26

Alternate Title: Kokusenya kassen

Very good impressions with guaffrage and metallic pigments.

Signed: “Yoshu Chikanobu hitsu” with red toshidama seal

Colored ink woodblock on off-white paper (oban triptych).

Object Description
The Battles of Coxinga (Kokusenya kassen) is based on the true adventures of Coxinga (Watonai), a warrior of Chinese and Japanese parentage, who fought for the restoration of the Ming Chinese government after its defeat in the 17th c. by Manchu invaders. In the kabuki play Watonai joined forces with Kinshojo, his Chinese step-sister, and Kanki, her husband. Chikanobu's print shows Ichikawa Sadanji I (1842-1904) playing the lead role, flanked by Bando Kakitsu I (1847-1893) in the female role and Nakamura Shikan IV (1830-1899) as Kanki. The colorful Chinese-style costumes, exotic settings in China, and dramatic "rough style" (aragoto) acting associated with Watonai made this a popular production.

See also: 93.3.142, 93.3.185, 93.3.186

For more information, please refer to the Chikanobu exhibition catalogue.

Mieda Tadazaemon

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