- Museum number
Colour woodblock print. The Kabuki actors Segawa Kikusaburō II as Tokiyuki no imōto Manjuhime (left) and Onoe Matsusuke I as Nagasaki Kageyu Saemon Tamemoto (right), in the play 'Hanayagura tachibana keizu', performed at the Ichimura-za from the 1st day of the 11th month, Kansei 10 .
- Production date
Height: 39.30 centimetres
Width: 25.90 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- This is the only known impression of this design in the world. It is listed (with an illustration) as no. 74 in Roger Keyes' catalogue raisonné of the works of Utagawa Kunimasa found in Ukiyo-e Shūka, vol. 9, Shōgakukan, 1981, p.234.
The design belongs to a group of 11 known works published by Tsuruya Kiemon in the 8th and 11th months of 1798. All except one portray a pair of full-length figures of Kabuki actors, one standing and the other seated or crouching, with the actors' family crests, their stage names and the names of their roles given at the top-left or top-right corners. All the designs are excellent examples of the artist's skill at double full-length portraiture. Furthermore, the impression of this particular design is very fine, the colour is pristine and the condition is close to perfect.
An illustrated theatrical program (ehon banzuke) of the period depicts Kikusaburō in this role at the far left, though not in the same scene. A casting program (yakuwari banzuke) again names the role and actor: Tokiyuki no imōto Manjuhime Segawa Kikusaburō 時行妹万寿姫 瀬川菊三郎. Kabuki nenpyô reveals under the description for the actor Nakamura Denkurō in this performance: "Second play on the programme. The manservant Yoshiro, in reality, Onchi Sagoro, longs for Oshizu and makes Manju-hime (the younger sister of Tokiyuki) his mistress. Later, he and Nagasaki Kageyu Saemon reveal their true identities."「二番目。下男与四郎実は恩地左五郎にて、おしづに恋慕し、時行妹菊寿姫をかこい、後に長崎かげゆ左衛門見顕しまで。」
The script for the play appears not to have survived, making it difficult to identify the events taking place in this print.
According to Roger Keyes, a famous courtesan named Manju was active in Yoshiwara around the 1680s-90s, and another courtesan named Manju was active in Osaka’s Shinchi district in 1819, so it may be that a courtesan name Manju was active around the time this Kabuki play was produced (Ukiyo-e shûka: Mineaporisu bijutsukan, Pôtorando bijutsukan, 1981; p. 234).
Illustrated in Roger Keyes, “Kunimasa: A Fictional Memoir,” Impressions 19 (1997), p. 62.
(P. Griffith, 8/2019)
- Not on display
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Hanayagura tachibana keizu (花櫓橘系図)
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Purchased by Paul Griffith from Mita Arts Gallery (Ivy Building, 4th Floor, 1-10-101, Jinbochō, Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0051).
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Other BM number: 2008,AsiaLoan.25
Previous owner/ex-collection number: PG.10