Comments - Terrific kabuki portrait of Ichikawa Danjuro as the great warrior Higuchi no Jiro Kanemitsu, a retainer of the twelfth century Minamoto warrior Yoshinaka. After Yoshinaka's death, Kanemitsu rescued his master's son and escaped, disguised as the boatman Matsuemon. Here, the boatman prepares to defend himself, gripping his oar as a weapon above his head with both hands. His boldly striped outer robe is pushed down to the waist, revealing a blue shirt patterned with rows of bats over a black undergarment, tied with a plaid obi. His long hair falls messily over his shoulders, and he is bleeding from a cut to his forehead. He back is against the pine tree from which he was keeping watch for approaching enemy troops, the rugged trunk beautifully rendered with calligraphic strokes. A fantastic design with strong graphic impact, nicely detailed with fine line work in the hair, burnishing on the black undergarment and black kimono trim, and metallic pigment that has oxidized to a dark tone on some of the bats.
Artist - Kunichika (1835 - 1900)
Image Size - 14 1/8" x 28 5/8"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. Paper remnants on reverse at sides from previous mounting. Slight thinning and a few small losses at edges, repaired. Slight toning and soiling, creasing at edges, offsetting from metallic pigment. Please see photos for details.
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