number30008
print titleToki ni ōtsue kitai no maremono
(Rare scrolls of popular ōtsu-e)
sizeōban, triptych
artistKuniyoshi
signatureIchiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga
artist`s sealYoshikiri-in
era nameKōka 4 - Kaei 2
earliest year of publication1847
latest year of publication1849
censor’s sealKinugasa, Hama (1); Murata, Mera (2,3)
publisherHamaya Kohei (2)
engraverŌta Takichi (3)
image descriptionThe artist Ukiyo Matabei is surrounded by ōtsu-e characters that have come to life to protect him.
interpretationUkiyo Matabei’s face is hidden by a sheet of paper from which the ōtsu-e have escaped, but the paulownia crest (yoshikiri) on the fan in the artist’s hand and the presence of a cat reveals that Matabei is the feline lover Kuniyoshi himself. The ōtsu-e figures dancing around the artist are disguised actors' portraits, since the depiction of actors had been forbidden in the 6th month of Tenpō 13. Ōtsu-e are unsigned, undated, rapidly brushed folk paintings from Ōtsu, a station on the Tōkaidō, which were sold as souvenirs (omiyage) to pilgrims and travelers passing through.
This triptych bears a number of censorship seals: on the sheet on the far right is the mark of Hama and Kinugasa, while the remaining two sheets carry the seals of Murata and Mera. The reason for this is unclear but it might be possible that initially only the right sheet was approved by the censors and there was something wrong with the other two, which had to be redesigned and were then approved a month later. According to Satō, the censors worked in this constellation in the years Kōka 4 and Kaei 1 in the 4th/5th month and the 7th/8th month. Because of Kuniyoshi’s light summer kimono and the fan, it is quite likely that this print was published in the 7th and 8th month.
The following actors are displayed:
1. Ichikawa Kodanji IV: kaminari - thunder god
2. Bandō Hikosaburō IV: monkey with namazu (catfish) and gourd
3. Ichimura Uzaemon XII: takajō - falconer
4. Ichikawa Kuzō II: yarimochi - retainer carrying pike
5. Ōtani Hiroemon V: geihō daikokuten - Daikokuten
6. Iwai Kumesaburō III: Ushiwakamaru - name of Minamoto Yoshitsune
7. KUNIYOSHI
8. Nakamura Utaemon IV: oni no nenbutsu - demon
9. Nakayama Bungorō II: sake nomi yakko - servant drinking sake
10. Ichikawa Danjūrō VIII: tsurigane benkei - Benkei with the bell of the Miidera Temple
11. Onoe Kikugorō IV: fujimusume - wisteria girl
12. Seki Sanjūrō III: zatō - blind
collectionASG, FCM, NDL, NGP, MFAS, TML, VAM, WTM
referenceInagaki and Isao 1991:fig.81, MFAS 1968:fig.35, Ōta kinen bijutsukan 1999:fig.157, Satō 1998:3-9, Suzuki 1992:fig.442, TML DB 5259-C043-01/02/03, WTM DB 005-0326/0327/0328
copyrightPrivate Collection (Suzuki)
image categorygiga, yakusha-e
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