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Utagawa KUNISADA I
(1786 - 1865)
Scene from the play: Kanoshita kage hazama gassen
-"The Carp-grappling scene" -

Signed:                         Toyokuni ga (on each sheet)
Date/censor seals:        aratame; 1856, 7th month
Publisher:                    Otaya Takichi

Size:                              ôban diptych (c. 36 x 49 cms / c. 14 1/8" x 19 1/4");
                                       - Two separate sheets as issued. -



Condition:
SUPERB impression and color, fine condition.


ref. no.:  # 763226
Price:     € 3,800.00
This diptych is from a series entitled: Ukiyo hakkei no uchi ('Eight Views of the Floating World'). - The depiction is based on a kabuki play performed at the Morita theater in 1856. The Japanese title of the play is: Konoshita kage hazama gassen. The depicted scene is entitled "The Carp-grappling scene" which was part of a number of very popular kabuki plays:

In order to snare a carp that has slipped out of a scroll painting, Konoshitagawa Kosuke (on the left) enters the water, and fights his opponent, Hanyuya Sukeshiro (on the right). When he pierces the eyes of the captured carp with a sword (?), the creature re-enters the scroll held by the painter Ukiyo Matabei who is standing at the nearby shore.

The actors are:
- Onoe Kikugorô IV (1808-1860) - Bandô Hikosaburô V (1832-1877) - Bandô Takesaburô I? (? - ?)

Variations of the scene performed in other kabuki plays are illustrated in:
Iwakiri Yuriko / Amy Newland, "Kuniyoshi - Japanese Master of Imagined Worlds", Hotei Publishing, 2013; pp. 76 & 82.
(The book is for long sold out; however, we have a copy for sale.)

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