Modern Seven Komachi - Handsome design from an 1851 Kuniyoshi series depicting kabuki actors in scenes associated with the famous ninth-century poetess Ono no Komachi. The subjects are taken from a series of seven Noh plays (Nanakomachi) dealing with legendary events during the beauty's life. A rarely seen series and an interesting choice for a Kuniyoshi collector.
Komachi Washing a Book: Sawamura Sojuro V, 1851 - Terrific kabuki portrait of Sawamura Sojuro V relaxing on a bamboo bench alongside a meandering stream, one clog kicked off and his leg tucked up. He looks up with an apprehensive expression and clouds drift across a glowing full moon. At lower right, smoke rises from the snout of a pottery pig, perhaps to keep away mosquitoes. The scene corresponds to the story of Ono no Komachi washing a book to clear her name. On the night before a poetry contest, one of Komachi's rivals heard her reciting her poem, and hoping to discredit her, copied the verse into a book to accuse her of plagiarism. Komachi discovered the trick, and washed away the fresh ink. A handsome design, beautifully composed and shaded.
Artist - Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861)
Image Size - 14 1/4" x 9 5/8"
Condition - This print with nice detail as shown. Small losses and wormholes, repaired. Slight wrinkling. Please see photos for details.