Koka (Toyonari)

Yamamura Koka (Toyonari)

1885-1942

Flowers of the Theatrical World: Actor Ichikawa Ennosuke II as Hayami no Tota
(Rien no Hana: Ichikawa Ennosuke II, Hayami no Tota)

with silver mica ground, signed Toyonari ga, with circular date seal, Tai ju (Taisho 10 [1921]), self-published with the support of the Yamamura Koka Hanga Kankokai (Publication Society of Yamamura Koka's prints), 1921

dai oban tate-e 16 5/8 by 11 1/4 in., 42.2 by 28.5 cm

Among the prints from the untitled pre-earthquake series popularly known as Flowers of the Theatrical World (Rien no Hana), this stands out as displaying a remarkable abundance of mica embellishments. In addition to silver mica applied over the rust-red background, the actor's costume is highlighted with brass-colored metallic printing on the embroidery and wide stripes of pale blue mica on the alternating stripes of his vest.

The actor Ichikawa Ennosuke II (Ichikawa En'o I, 1888-1963) is in the role of Hayami Tota from the play Yoshitsune Sembon Zakura (Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees). The play is set in 1185, following the decisive battle of Dannoura between the Minamoto and Taira clans in which the general Taira no Yoshitsune engineered total victory for his family. Soon after the victory, however, Yoshitsune finds himself in a rivalry with his brother, Yoritomo. Hayami Tota is a follower of Yoritomo's whose attempt to capture Yoshitsune's mistress was foiled by Yoshitsune's faithful retainer, Sato Tadanobu.

References:
Dorothy Blair, Modern Japanese Prints, Toledo Museum of Art, 1930, no. 204
Arendie and Henk Herwig, Heroes of the Kabuki Stage, 2004, pp. 166-177
Andreas Marks, Seven Masters: 20th Century Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Wells Collection, Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2015, 64-73, and Yamamura Koka (Toyonari) Exhibition History, p. 209

(inv. no. 10-1595)

price: $2,400

kikumon

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