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Toyokuni III, Actors at the Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III), 1786-1865

Actors at the Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido: Oiso, Juro Sukenari
([Yakusha mitate] Tokaido gojusan tsugi no uchi: Oiso, Juro Sukenari)

signed Toyokuni ga, carver's seal hori Mino, publisher's seal Kichi, Izutsuya (Izutsuya Shokichi), censor seals Kinugasa and Murata, and date seal Ni-hachi (year of the rat [1852], 8th month)

oban tate-e 14 3/8 by 10 in., 36.5 by 25.5 cm

The actor Ichimura Takenojo V (1812-1851) is in the role of Soga Juro Sukenari from the play Hatsugasumi yukari no cho chidori (Butterfly and Plover, Remembered in Connection with Spring Mist). Sukenari, one of the infamous Soga brothers, came to Oiso in his quest to avenge his father's murder. It was there that he became a lover of the courtesan Oiso no Tora, or Tora-gozen, who would become a nun after Sukenari's death. The ensemble featuring Takenojo performed the play in 1850 in Ichimura Theater.

Reference:
Andreas Marks, Kunisada's Tokaido: Riddles in Japanese Woodblock Prints, 2013, p. 123, cat. T63-09A

$550