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Plays and Theatre

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Morikawa Chikashige (originally Otojirō), Japanese
Ichikawa Kudan (The Jealous Lover), 1880
Ink on Paper
14 1/16 in. x 28 in. (35.72 cm x 71.12 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: 2005.1.23


Commentary
The woman is the geisha Sakuraya Komon, identified here as the onnagata Onoe Taganojo II, one of the stage names held by Onoe Kikumatsu (1849-1899).

The central figure is the samurai Satsuma Gengobei, identified here as Kataoka Gado III, which is the name held from 1872-1894 by Kataoka Nizaemon X (1851-1895).

The bald male figure is Sasano Sangobe, identified here as Ichikawa Kuzo III, which is the name held from 1854-1897 by Ishikawa Danzo VII (1836-1911).

The play "Five Great Powers that Secure Love / Godairiki Koi no Fûjime” opened August 1879 at the Hisamatsuza in Tokyo. Sangobei, spurned by Komon, tricked her into writing a letter to her lover Gengobei severing that relationship, and Gengobei is so enraged when he reads the letter (shown here) that he kills both her and the scheming Sangobei.

Prof. Bruce Coats

Edition
Fine colors. Fine impressions with gauffrage, burnishing and metallic pigment.

Marks
Two text banners in the upper right of the right panel. Signed with two text banners in the upper right of the left panel. Two text banners in the upper left of the left panel.

Medium
Colored ink woodblock print; oban triptych.

Object Description
Meiji period color woodblock triptych depicting a bijin who had been reading a love-letter, now being attacked with a sword by her jealous lover, while another man watches from the side. The actor Kataoka is in the center and Ichikawa Kudan is on the right. An actor playing Onnagata is on the left.

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