Murai Teikichi - Suzuki Mondo

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892

Eastern Flowers of Rough Stories from the Floating World: Murai Teikichi; Suzuki Mondo
(Azuma no nishiki ukiyo kodan: Murai Teikichi; Suzuki Mondo)

signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu, with artist's seal Kiri, publisher's seal Kinkyu (Omiya Kyujiro of Kiyudo), and combined censor and date seal U-ju, aratame (year of the hare [1867], 10th lunar month, examined)

oban tate-e 14 3/4 by 10 in., 37.5 by 25.4 cm

Suzuki Mondo is the titular subject of the kabuki play Suzuki Mondo from a story retold by Murai Teikichi II (1841-1910). In the play, Mondo is played in wagoto (gentle style). Such a character would be a refined young gallant, as opposed to the gruff and macho aragoto types. The wagoto hero tended to find themselves hopelessly in love an unobtainable beauty (typically a courtesan whose freedom he could not afford to buy). Such tales would often end with the lovers running off together and committing shinju (lovers' suicide). In Suzuki Mondo, the samurai squanders all his money on the beautiful Shiraito, bringing ruin to his family.

References:
Leiter 2014, p. 276
MFA, Boston, accession no. 11.37761

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