Actors Back Stage: Nakamura Shikan IV Adjusting His Wig
(Haiyu gakuya no omokage: Nakamura Shikan)
signed Toyohara Kunichika hitsu with his red Toshidama seal, followed by the block carver Kosaburo Masukichi's seal, Hori Kosan, the title at the top right, Haiyu gakuya no omokage: Nakamura Shikan, dated with publisher's information along the left margin, Meiji nijuichinen gogatsu hatsuka insatsu (printed in Meiji 21, May 20th), donen gogatsu nijugonichi shuppan (published in the same year, May 25rd), published by Sasaki Toyokichi with his address in Kyobashi, 1888
oban tate-e 14 5/8 by 10 in., 37.3 by 25.3 cm
The actor Nakamura Shikan IV (1831-99) is seated before a black lacquer mirror as he carefully puts on a wig. Shikan IV, the son of a former kabuki actor who had become a backstage manager in Osaka, took to the stage at an early age. Having already performed as a child in Osaka, Shikan was adopted by another actor from the same Nakamura clan who brought him to Edo where he developed further and became one of the most successful and versatile actors of his time, touring widely throughout Japan.
Waseda University Cultural Resource Database, archive.waseda.jp, accession no. 201-0670
(inv. no. 10-4999)
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