Item from the Mokuhankan Flea Market

Leading Kabuki Actors

Size: 53.0cm by 30.0cm (20.87 in by 11.81 in) | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [XL] ?

Designer: Torii Kiyomasu

Era: Early Showa | Currency: $ / £ /

Price: ¥ 13,000$ 96.00£ 75.50€ 88.25

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Description: This print is from a two-volume collection that follows the history of ukiyo-e in reproduced prints by Takamizawa company published in 1952. The two sets are in rough chronological order and follow different techniques through history, starting with sumizuri-e, moving through tan-e, urushi-e, beni-e, and so on. Please visit our Collection page where you can see our own preserved copy of this entire set at high-resolution.

Here we see the actors Wakabayashi Shirōgorō (as Hōjō Tokiyori), Ichimura Tamagashiwa (as Masaki no Mae), and Ichimura Takenojō (as Hōjō Yasutoki) from the kabuki play Banzei Onna Hachinoki (万歳女鉢木) held at the Ichimura theatre in 1715. They are partaking in a traditional Japanese ritual for the New Year season - pounding rice in a barrel into mochi (noted in "Ukiyo-e: The Art of the Japanese Print" by Frederick Harris). Banzei Onna Hachinoki was a kaomise, a play that was used to "introduce" a new season's actors to the audience, and it seems possible that Kiyomasu created this print as a New Year's print celebrating the kaomise of the actors in the new theatre season.

This reproduction is a sumizuri-e (ukiyoe printed with black pigment alone) with fudezaishiki (hand colouring by brush).


This print has creases and slight toning. Takamizawa folded the print once to fit it into their packaging, and the crease is still visible.

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