- Museum number
Colour woodblock print with metallic pigment. Kabuki actor seen in a mirror. Arashi Kitsusaburō I (Rikan) backstage as Gofukuya Jūbei, in an imagined (mitate) performance of the play 'Igagoe dōchū sugoroku' 伊賀越道中双六. First month, 1821.
- Production date
Height: 39.20 centimetres
Width: 26.90 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- This print celebrates Rikan's taking of a newly minted name, Kitsusaburo I, in the first month, 1821. At the same time, it looks back to one of his previous successes: his performance as the clothing merchant Gofukuya Jubei in the ninth month, 1818. He appears to be taking a last look to check his make-up and costume before going on stage. The loose strands of hair may have conveyed the impression that Rikan was 'sexy' actor. The syllable 'Kitsu' in his new name is another reading for the character 'tachibana' (mandarin orange), one of the actor's crests, as seen decorating the frame of the mirror. The mirror is further highlighted with metallic pigment. From his youth Rikan had participated in both haikai and kyoka poetry circles, and his poems were often included in surimono and published anthologies. His verses did not appear on commercial prints, however, until around this date, only months before the end of his life. In contrast, Shikan (Utaemon III) and his troupe contributed poems on commercial prints regularly from the end of 1815. The poem here is by the artist Shibakuni or one of his friends. The artist Yoshikuni alluded to this image in his portrait of Rikan II, published in 1822 (Gerstle 2005, cat. 197).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2005, BM, Kabuki Heroes on the Osaka Stage, 1780-1830.
2015 Jan 27-Apr 28, London, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from prehistory to the present'
- Associated titles
Associated Title: 'Igagoe dōchū sugoroku' 伊賀越道中双六
- Acquisition date
- Registration number