Comparisons for Thirty-Six Selected Poems: Poem by Kakinomoto Hitomaro, Actor Iwai Kumesaburo III as Matsuura Sayohime
(Mitate Sanjurokkasen no Uchi: Kakinomoto Hitomaro, Matsuura Sayohime)
signed Toyokuni ga within artist's Toshidama cartouche, the series title at upper right with poem cartouche, with publisher's seal Kichi, Isekane (Iseya Kanekichi), block carver's seal Hori Take, censor's seals Hama and Magome (Magome Kageyu), and date seal Ne-kyu (year of the rat , 9th month)
oban tate-e 14 3/4 by 10 1/8 in., 37.5 by 25.8 cm
The actor Iwai Kumesaburo III (Iwai Hanshiro VIII, 1829-1882) is in the role of Matsuura Sayohime, a figure from Buddhist legend who drowns herself following the departure of her beloved Otomi, from the noh play Matsuura Sayohime.
The poem is by Kakinomoto Hitomaro (d. 708):
Akashi no ura no
fune oshi zo omou
Faintly with the dawn
That glimmers on Akashi Bay,
In the morning mist
A boat goes hidden by the isle -
And my thoughts go after it.
Edwin A. Cranston, A Waka Anthology: Grasses of Remembrance, 2006, p. 159
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (www.mfa.org), from the Bigelow Collection, accession no. 11.36779.37
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December 7, 2021
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