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Utagawa Kunisada - Ichikawa Kodanji IV as Oshô Kichisa

Utagawa Kunisada - Ichikawa Kodanji IV as Oshô Kichisa

1786-1865 Kodanji by Kunisada

Colour print from woodblocks with blind embossing (karazuri), textile embossing (nunome-zuri), burnishing (tsuya-zuri) and mica (kirazuri). Block-carver: Yokokawa Hori-Take. Publisher: Shôrindô. 01/1860

From the series Imayô oshi-e kagami (Up-to-date Padded Pictures in Mirrors). Kunisada designed several series of portraits of actors reflected in mirrors.

This print commemorates the first performance of Sannin Kichisa kuruwa no hatsugai performed at the Ichimura theatre from 14/01/1860. The main strand of the plot of this kizewamono (raw domestic drama), concerns three honourable thieves, each of whom is called Kichisa. They swear blood brotherhood and end up killing each other rather than give themselves up to the police. Ishikawa Kodanji IV took the part of the ex-priest Osho Kichisa.

This is from a luxury edition on thick paper with special printing effects.

The seal of the leading block-carver Yokokawa Takejiro appears on the print.

Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam with the aid of the MGC Purchase Grant Fund and the National Art Collections Fund, 1999


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