This site requires that you enable Javascript to function properly Scholten Japanese Art | Woodblock Prints | Utagawa Hiroshige & Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III) Actors Seki Sanjuro II as Kamiya Niemon and Onoe Kikugoro III from Kamigata (Kudari) as The Lantern Ghost, Applauded Throughout the Three Cities
Scholten Japanese Art Gallery
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Kunisada (Toyokuni III)
Utagawa Hiroshige & Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III),
Actors Seki Sanjuro II as Kamiya Niemon and Onoe Kikugoro III from Kamigata (Kudari) as The Lantern Ghost, Applauded Throughout the Three Cities
(Sanganotsu gohyoban no chochin no yurei)

both sheets signed Gototei Kunisada ga, with censor's seal kiwame, and publisher's mark of Moritaya Hanzo, ca. 1831
oban tate-e diptych 19 3/4 by 14 1/2 in., 50.3 by 36.8 cm
This diptych illustrates the actor Seki Sanjuro II (1786-1839) in the role of Kamiya Niemon (Tamiya Iemon), and Onoe Kikugoro III (Okawa Hashizo, 1784-1849) as the Lantern Ghost, Oiwa, from the play Tokaido Yotsuya Kaidan (A Ghost Story at Yotsuya on the Tokaido) as performed at the Ichimura Theater in the 8th lunar month of 1831. The play was written by Tsuruya Nanboku IV roughly inspired by several real violent events that took place in the early 19th century, and was first staged in 1825. In the play, a young wife who has just given birth, Oiwa, is betrayed by her unfaithful husband, Kamiya Niemon, who wishes to marry the daughter of a wealthy neighbor. Kamiya conspires to undermine his wife's recovery from childbirth and make her so ill and so disfigured that she ultimately kills herself, vowing to haunt him. In this scene towards the end of the play, Kamiya has taken refuge from his tortured mind and ghostly confrontations in a run down mountain shack, only to find he can not flee Oiwa's ghost that emerges from the old paper lantern.
Reference:
Arendie & Henk Herwig, Heroes of the Kabuki Stage, 2004, pp. 296-301 (on play)
price: $ 1,800