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Scholten Japanese Art Gallery
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Paul Binnie, The Arrowhead

Paul Binnie, Scottish, b. 1967

The Famous 18 Plays: The Arrowhead
(Kabuki ju-hachiban: Yanone)

kappazuri (stencil print) on black washi paper with dark gold ground and highlights in bright gold and silver pigments, signed in the composition in gold pigment Binnie, numbered and signed again in red crayon at bottom margin Paul Binnie, 17/80, followed by artist's seal Bin-ni and date seal Heisei roku-nen (Heisei 6 [1994])

dai oban tate-e 18 5/8 by 12 5/8 in., 47.2 by 32.2 cm

This composition is the seventh in the series Kabuki juhachiban (The Famous 18 Plays) and depicts Soga no Goro from the play Yanone (The Arrowhead). The tales of the Soga brothers have been told and retold numerous times in kabuki theater, and usually involve motifs of revenge. Yanone continues in that tradition. The play opens on Goro as he sharpens one of his arrows. The head of the Ozatsuma school of music gives him a silken scroll which, if slept on, reveals premonitions in the slumberer's dreams. That night, Goro has a vision that his brother, Soga no Juro, is being held captive. Startled awake, he jumps into action. Goro asks a nearby radish merchant if he can use the merchant's horse. When the merchant wavers, the impatient Goro brushes him aside. He takes the horse and a massive white radish, which he brandishes as a whip, and rides off stage to his brother's aid.

References:
Arendie and Henk Herwig, Heroes of the Kabuki Stage, 2004, pp. 83-91 (re: play)
Paul Binnie: A Dialogue with the Past - The First 100 Japanese Prints, 2007, p. 66, no. 24

$600