Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861)
A rich parade scene with dance in the New Year's performance of a Kabuki drama on the the Sôga brothers. The stage presents a boat under the drooping branches of a weeping willow. The title of the drama is 袖机帳誓別朝妻 "Sode kichô chikai no Asazuma"; the performance took place on the 23rd day of the 1st month of the year 1852 at the Ichimura Theatre in Edo.
Signature: Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi ga
Seal: Kiri-Mon (on middle leaf)
Publisher: Amatsu, Edo
Censors: Hama, Magome
Date: 1852, 1st month
Size: Ôban triptych, approx. 36.5- 37.5 x 75.9 cm (overall)
Excellent impression, very nice colours, with well visible wood-grain. Unbacked, separate sheets. Only the top margin of the middle sheet trimmed to the image, otherwise with margins in top and left. Tiny pin holes and small rust stains in corners. Some horizontal and vertical creases. Margins a little bit creased, minimally age-toned, partly small printer’s smudges. Overall very good condition.
Very rare. Cf. so far only Hankyu Bunka 2084-01/02/03 and Kuniyoshi Project (Actor triptychs 1852, Part I). Transcriptions of the role names (some uncertain) can be provided.
A tsuji-banzuke (illustrated theatre programme or playbill) for this performance is known (MFA Boston, 11.28039 a.o.). The programme, which consisted of this play and two others, was only staged on the 23rd day of the 1st month of the year 1852. Incidentally, the fight scene on the roof from the drama “Satomi Hakkenden”, also by Kuniyoshi is a scene from one of the other two plays from the same New Year's performance. (link to 3640).