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Yoshu Chikanobu (aka Chikanobu), Japanese, (1838–1912)
Biography of Actor Bando Hikosaburo, 1880
Ink on Paper
4 3/16 in. x 7 1/8 in. x 1/8 in. (10.67 cm x 18.03 cm x 0.25 cm)


Object Type: Book
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Gift of Catherine and Charles Coats
Accession Number: 2006.2.1


Marks
Signed yoshu Chikanobu; seal: toshidama.

Medium
Colored and black ink on paper, bound in book format.

Object Description
This short biography of the famed kabuki actor Bando Hikosaburo V (1832-1877) was written by the novelist Okamoto Kisen and illustrated by Chikanobu. Hikosaburo came from a family of carpenters living in the Asakusa area of Edo and was adopted in 1840 by Bando Hikosaburo IV (1800-1873), who trained him and gave him his stage name in 1856 (Hikosaburo IV then became Kamezo I). This volume describes how Hikosaburo V learned the role of the villain Nikki Danjo in Meiboku Sendai hagi. Later he played the nursemaid Masaoka in the same play, becoming renown for both his male and female / onnagata acting skills. In his youth he was popular as the handsome hero Yoshitsune in Yoshitsune senbon zakura and as he matured he perfected the roles of the faithful retainer Sato Tadanobu and of the fox who pretends to be Tadanobu. Hikosaburo V was one of the superstars of kabuki in the 1860'-1870's, competing with Nakamura Shikan IV (1831-1899) on stage and off. He died unexpectedly at the age of 45. This biography was part of the memorabilia made for his fans.

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

Publisher
Tsunashima Kamekichi, Kameyama Tonya.

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