Ippitsusai Buncho woodblock print

Ippitsusai Buncho, fl. ca. 1755-90

Ichikawa Danjuro V in the role of Yakushiji Jirouzaemon bursting through a tsuitate (standing screen)

signed Buncho ga with publisher's seal Mori uji, ca. 1779

hosoban 32.2 by 14.7 cm.

Ichikawa Danjuro V (1741-1806) was a leading actor of his time, with a career that spanned over five decades. He was a kaneru yakusha (multitalented actor), demonstrated by his facility with diverse roles: playing heros, villains, warriors, and even female roles. He was also recognized for his poetry and counted many influential artists among his following. In 1771, at the age of 31, Danjuro V became the zagashira (troupe leader and production director) of the Morita Theater, the only actor who played female roles to ever hold that title.

This print depicts Danjuro V in the role of Yakushiji Jirouzaemon from the play Kaeribana Eiyu Taiheiki performed in the 11th month of Anei 8 (1779) at the Nakamura-za.

Reference:
Ukiyo-e Shuuka, Vol. 14, Shogakkan, 1978, no. 54, from the collection of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University

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