Comments - Fantastic triptych depicting kabuki actors on battledores called hagoita, which were used for a traditional game similar to badminton during the New Year. Hagoita were commonly decorated with portraits of kabuki actors, so the format is uniquely suited to the subject. The paddle in the center depicts a scene from the play commonly known as "Sukeroku," featuring the elderly Ikyu, the beautiful courtesan Agemaki, and the young street knight Sukeroku. The outer battledores feature two enemies, the disgraced ronin Nagoya Sanza at left and the warrior who caused his downfall at right, Fuwa Banzaemon. The other hagoita depict a samurai in armor gripping a bamboo pole and a commoner raising a knife above his head. The background includes feathered shuttlecocks and a ball. A terrific design, beautifully colored and detailed, with embossing on the white hair and white feathers, and burnishing on the black kimono. A great subject for a kabuki collector.
Artist - Kunichika (1835 - 1900)
Image Size - 14 1/4" x 28 3/4" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with nice color and detail as shown. Three attached panels. Vertical folds between panels. A few repairs, creasing throughout. Please see photos for details.
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