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Morikawa Chikashige, active ca. 1869-1882
Actors Ichikawa Sadanji as Watanabe Genjitsuna and Onoe Kikugoro V as the Ibaraki Demon
with katazuri (blind printing) on the demon's hair, signed Morikawa Chikashige hitsu with artist's seal unread, carver's seal Horiko Yata, publisher's seal Tokyo Nihonbashi Hasegawacho 19-banchi, shuppanjin Fukuda Kumajiro (Fukuda Kumajiro of Gusokuya), ca. 1883
oban tate-e 13 3/4 by 28 in., 34.9 by 71 cm
The actor Ichikawa Sadanji (1842-1904) is in the role of Watanabe Genitsuna and the actor Onoe Kikugoro V (1844-1903) is in the role of the Ibaraki Demon from the play Ibaraki (Ibaraki). Watanabe Genjitsuna is based on the historical samurai Watanabe no Tsuna (953-1025), the legendary warrior whose historical foes have over time become remembered as demons and devils. One such enemy was the Ibaraki-doji, the infamous demon of Rashomon gate. Their battle ended when Watanabe severed the demon's arm, which he took back to his mansion as a trophy. Later, he was visited by an elderly aunt, who asked to see the infamous limb. Instructing his men to leave the room, he removes the arm from its case, at which point the woman, revealing herself to be Ibaraki in disguise, grabs the arm and flies into the night. This composition depicts Ibaraki in this moment of flight, rescued limb in hand as the surprised Watanabe stands sword drawn and in pursuit.