- Museum number
Colour woodblock print. Actor Ichikawa Danjuro V as deity Fudo Myo-o of Narita, standing on rock in waterfall, surrounded by flames, holding sword to quell evil and rope to snare wrongdoers. Issued to mark opening-of-the-season (kaomise) performance, Kite kaeru nishiki no wakayaka (極翻錦壮貌; So Youthful!: Brocades to Wear When Returning Home') at the Nakamura theatre in the eleventh month of 1780. Signed.
- Production date
- 1780 (11th month)
Height: 56 centimetres (Mounted)
Height: 32.80 centimetres
Width: 40.50 centimetres (Mounted)
Width: 15.10 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Shunsho here adds a 'likeness' (nigao-e) of the actor Danjuro V onto the figure of the deity Fudo Myoo, in a hit scene 'The Stone Satue of Fudo', performed in 1780. The leading Danjuro lineage of actors were regarded as actual manifestations of Fudo. (Label copy, TTC, 1998)
Smith et al 1990
Shunsho revolutionised the portrayal of Kabuki actors during the later 1760s by designing prints which for the first time captured an actual likeness ('nigao-e') of the actors' facial features. Such a talent is made startlingly apparent in this print, where the immediately recognisable long nose, large downturned mouth and small, wide-set eyes of Danjuro V have been 'superimposed' on to a statue-like figure of the ferocious Buddhist deity Fudo Myo-O (Acala). Fudo Myo-O was regarded as the tutelary deity of the leading Ichikawa Danjuro line of actors, and had been portrayed on stage by the family since the times of Ichikawa Danjuro I (1660-1704).
Danjuro V played this part four times in his career, and this print is thought to have been issued to commemorate the last occasion, a tremendously popular scene, 'The stone statue of Fudo' ('Sekizo no Fudo'), in the play 'Kite kaeru nishiki no wakayaka', the opening-of-the-season ('kaomise') performance at the Nakamura theatre in the eleventh month of 1780. The deity is shown standing on a rock in a waterfall, surrounded by flames, holding a sword to quell evil and rope to snare wrongdoers.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
Sep 2020 - Jan 2021, BM, Room 35, "Tantra: enlightenment to revolution"
- Acquisition date
- Registration number