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Kunisada (Toyokuni III)

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)


Contest of Flowers Expressing Their Feelings: no. 1, Umegawa and Chubei
(Hanasoroi shussei kurabe: Ichi; Umegawa, Chubei)

signed Toyokuni ga within the artist's Toshidama cartouche, publisher's seal Kakukin (Kakumotoya Kinjiro of Sumimotoya Kinjiro), date seal Uma-hachi (year of the horse [1858], 8th month)

oban tate-e 14 5/8 by 10 1/8 in., 37 by 25.6 cm

The actor Iwai Kumesaburo III (Iwai Hanshiro VIII, 1829-1882) is in the role of Umegawa and the actor Kataoka Nizaemon VIII (1810-1863) is in the role of Chubei from the play Koi Bikyaku Yamato Orai (lit. The Love Messenger of Yamato but often referred to as Courier of Hell, based on the title of an earlier puppet play). Chubei, the son of a courier, falls in love with the courtesan Umegawa. When he can no longer afford to continue their affair, he breaks the seal of one of his packages, stealing the money. They escape to the countryside, where together they succumb to the elements.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (, from the Bigelow Collection, accession no. 11.40981

price: Sold


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site last updated
December 6, 2018

Scholten Japanese Art
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