Comments - Great kabuki triptych from the premiere performance of the play "Shima Chidori Tsuki no Shiranami" at the Shintomiza or Shintomi Theater in November 1881. The drama is a "Zangirimono" or "Cropped Hair Play," a genre which depicted contemporary Meiji characters in real-life dramas involving ordinary people. It takes its name from the close-cropped hairstyle adopted by men during the Meiji era. From left, the actors are Iwai Hanshiro VIII as the beauty Oteru, Onoe Kikugoro V as Akashi no Shimazu, and Ichikawa Danjuro IX as Mochizuki Akira. In the center, Akashi no Shimazu clings to a rock with a purse caught between his teeth as white-capped waves crash all around him. At left, the beauty grins happily as she looks up, carrying a Western-style umbrella. The fellow at right looks over his shoulder with a sober expression, a hat in his hand. His green kimono features a subtle burnished scroll and blossom pattern. Both men sport the latest short haircuts popular in the Meiji era. A dramatic format heightened by the deep red backgrounds and the diagonal divisions. Includes burnishing on the purse and the black hat.
Artist - Chikanobu (1838 - 1912)
Image Size - 13 1/2" x 28" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels, backed with paper. Small loss at edge, repaired. Slight soiling, a couple lightly rubbed spots. Please see photos for details.