- Museum number
Colour woodblock print diptych. The Kabuki actors Nakamura Utaemon III (Shikan, left) introduces Arashi Kitsusaburō II (later Rikan II, right) as successor to Rikan I (inset cartouche upper right). Ninth month, 1822.
- Production date
Height: 37.10 centimetres (left)
Height: 37.30 centimetres (right)
Width: 26.50 centimetres (left)
Width: 25.80 centimetres (right)
- Curator's comments
- A year after the death of Arashi Rikan I (Kichisaburo II, Kitsusaburo I), Arashi Tokusaburo II was recalled from Edo to take the name Arashi Kitsusaburo II (later Rikan II). He had trained under Rikan's elder brother Isaburo, but was also supported by Utaemon III (Shikan), who most likely arranged for him to go to Edo from the eleventh month of 1820, to further his training and increase his experience. A print by Kunisada shows Tokusaburo II performing in Edo. Rikan had not named his successor before his death, and this diptych suggests that Shikan was influential in the choice. The composition presents Kitsusaburo II as the incarnation of the deceased Rikan, who appears in the inset cartouche performing his final role as Yorimasa. Hokushu's portrait differs from Kunisada's in presenting Kitsusaburo II as the very image of his great forebear, with a difference in the presentation of the eyes. For Kitsusaburo was known as 'Big Eyes', and so Hokushu has drawn his eyes here with an extra line to indicate a double fold. This allows us to compare the two actors, as Rikan looks down to acknowledge his successor. The text reproduces Shikan's speech at the name-taking ceremony (shumei kojo). Shikan introduces Kitsusaburo II as a worthy successor. This was the first time that Kitsusaburo had performed at the top level in Osaka, and Shikan presents this also as the first memorial for Rikan, begging patrons to support the new actor. Kitsusaburo then modestly says that he is unknown to most of the audience, since he has been away performing in Edo. He refers to Rikan as his teacher-master (shisho) and relates how sad he was to hear of his death when he was far away in Edo, and how rudderless he felt after returning to Osaka without the great actor as his guide. He states that he first refused to accept the new name, feeling unworthy of the honor, but then modestly accepting the mantle he requests the help of other actors and patrons to enable him to develop into a worthy successor (Gerstle 2005, cat. 243).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2005, BM, Kabuki Heroes on the Osaka Stage, 1780-1830.
- Acquisition date
- Registration number