Onoe Tamezo as Ishikawa Goemon

by Yoshitaki (1841 - 1899)

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Onoe Tamezo as Ishikawa Goemon by Yoshitaki (1841 - 1899)

Original Yoshitaki (1841 - 1899) Japanese Woodblock Print
Onoe Tamezo as Ishikawa Goemon

Series; List of Famous Kabuki Actors (Haiyu Jinmei Roku)

Osaka Prints - Produced in the Kansai region, including Osaka and Kyoto, Osaka prints or kamigata-e are instantly distinguishable from typical Edo ukiyo-e. A major difference is the choice of subject matter. Osaka prints were nearly always portraits of actors or kabuki scenes. In contrast, Edo print subjects included beauties, landscapes, nature scenes, warriors, and historic events, in addition to kabuki.

Distinctly different artistic styles also emerged in Edo and Osaka in the 18th and 19th century, resulting in certain recognizable characteristics for each area. Osaka prints feature more subtle, serious figures, reflecting the wagoto or soft style of acting prevalent in the area, along with distinctive facial expressions. The aragato or brash manner of acting popular in Edo influenced print designs towards bolder images of heroism and military prowess.

Much like the style of the prints, the demand for ukiyo-e in the cities of Osaka and Edo also varied. Osaka produced far fewer ukiyo-e designs than Edo did. As a consequence, Osaka prints are rarer and also some of the highest quality prints made in the 19th century, with many featuring deluxe techniques such as burnishing or embossing. Osaka prints are a rare and wonderful collecting area of Japanese woodblocks.

Oban Osaka Kabuki Prints - Most Osaka kabuki prints were done in the smaller chuban size, so full oban format kamigata-e are rarely seen.
These larger Osaka kabuki woodblocks are a great choice for a collector. 

Onoe Tamezo as Ishikawa Goemon - Great kabuki portrait of Onoe Tamezo and the robber Ishikawa Goemon looking over his shoulder with a distraught expression. The hawk at lower left has just delivered to him a white cloth bearing a last message written in blood to Goemon from his real father, who was forced to commit suicide, and whom Goemon never knew. He wears a magnificent purple kimono patterned with a dragon over a furry black robe and red print under robe, a large pipe in his hand. Beautifully detailed with burnishing on the black kimono.

Artist - Yoshitaki (1841 - 1899)

Image Size - 14 1/8" x 9 3/8" + margins as shown

Condition - This print with beautiful color and detail as shown. Tiny repair, slight toning at edges. Please see photos for details.

Onoe Tamezo as Ishikawa Goemon by Yoshitaki (1841 - 1899)
Onoe Tamezo as Ishikawa Goemon by Yoshitaki (1841 - 1899)