Kunisada (Toyokuni III)

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)


Iwai Shijaku I as Oiso no Tora, Sawamura Tossho I as Kudo Suketsune, Ichikawa Ebizo V as Goro Tokimune, Iwai Tojaku I as Kewaizaka no Shosho, and Ichikawa Danjuro VIII as Juro Sukenari

a rare five panel print intact; each sheet signed Gototei Kunisada ga; with publisher's seal Kyu (Yamamotoya Heikichi of Eikyudo), 1sth lunar month of 1841

oban tate-e pentaptych 14 7/8 by 49 in., 37.8 by 124.5 cm

The onnagata beauty Iwai Shijaku I (Hanshiro VII, 1804-1845) stands at far right beside Sawamura Tossho I (Suketakaya Takasuke III, 1802-1853) seated on a raised platform, who is being confronted by Ichikawa Ebizo V (Danjuro VII, 1791-1859) and his son, Ichikawa Danjuro VIII (1823-1854), in their roles as the heroic Soga brothers, with the gorgeous onnagata Iwai Tojaku I (1776-1847) standing between them. The actors are depicting in a scene of high tension from the drama, Koi-zumo Yawaragi Soga, presented at the Kawarazaki Theater during the first lunar month of 1841. Variations on the tale of the Soga Brothers were extremely popular and were traditionally staged during the New Year holiday during which it was possible for more of the working populace of Edo to attend performances.

Waseda University Theatre Museum, 100-1795 - 100-1799
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, accession no. 11.42167a-e (photographed with the positions of Danjuro VIII and Iwai Tojaku I reversed)

(inv. no. 10-5387)

price: $2,800


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(212) 585-0474 or email
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site last updated
May 25, 2023

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475