Comments - Fantastic kabuki scene from one of the most famous Japanese ghost stories of all time, "Yotsuya Kaidan," a tale of betrayal, murder, and ghostly revenge. The family of a woman who has fallen in love with the ronin Tamiya Iemon, who is unhappily married to the beauty Oiwa, attempts to convince Iemon to abandon Oiwa by giving her a disfiguring poison. In an attempt to make herself presentable, Oiwa combs her hair, but the hair comes out in clumps, dripping blood onto the floor. When she finally sees her horrible face in the mirror, she dies, cursing Iemon, and returns as a ghost to haunt him. In the famous hair combing scene, Oiwa stands beside a screen, clutching a hank of hair with blood dripping from it and splashing on the screen. Her hideous face is misshapen and her head is balding on top where the hair has fallen out. The terrified masseur Taku Etsu crouches before her, unable to believe his eyes. The eel vendor Gonbei, who is in love with Oiwa's sister, is shown at left, scowling as he holds up a small hair comb. Onoe Kikugoro V appears as both Gonbei and Oiwa, while Onoe Matsusuke IV plays Taku Etsu. A terrific if rather gruesome design from this classic tale, detailed with fine line work in the hair and burnishing in the black obi and kimono collar. A great choice for a collector interested in the supernatural.
Artist - Kunisada III (1848 - 1920)
Image Size - 13 3/4" x 28 3/8" + margins
Condition - With excellent color and detail. Three panels, not attached at the seams and with remnants from previous backing along reverse. Minor spotting and soiling in subject with a few small holes along edges, repaired from reverse. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.
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