New Plays of Meiji-za: Armor-Pulling Scene
(Meiji-za shin kyogen: Shikorobiki)
signed Toyohara Kunichika hitsu with artist's square seal Toyohara Kunichika, with the roles and actors identified Kagekiyo played by Ichikawa Danjuro, and Mihonotani played by Ichikawa Sadanji, dated on the margin, Meiji nijuhachnen kyugatsu -ka (Meiji 28 , September, - day), followed by the publisher's information of Akiyama Buemon in located in Nihonbashi, 1895
oban tate-e triptych 13 5/8 by 30 1/8 in., 37.3 by 76.5 cm
Ichikawa Danjuro IX (1838-1903) is in the titular role of Kagekiyo, based on the historical Taira Kagekiyo (d. 1196), a general of the Taira clan during their legendary war against the Minamoto armies. Following the Taira defeat at the Batttle of Danoura in 1185, Kagekiyo is captured and imprisoned by the Minamoto. The play is included in the Kabuki Juhachiban (Eighteen Kabuki Plays), compiled by Ichikawa Danjuro VII in 1840 as favorites for the family's repertoire. Ichikawa Sadanji (1842-1904), in the supporting role of Mihonotani, was one of the three kabuki stars, along with Danjuro IX and Onoe Kikugoro V (1844-1903), who were largely credited with revitalizing kabuki in the modern era.
Nobutaka Imamura, ed., Ukiyo-e (Kunichika), Kyoto University of Art & Design, March 2018, p. 96, no. 813
Amy Reigle Newland, Time Present and Time Past, Images of a Forgotten Master: Toyohara Kunichika, 1835-1900, 1999, p. 137, no. 115
(inv. no. 10-5004)
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