Watonai in China, 1887

by Kunichika (1835 - 1900)

Current Status

Watonai in China, 1887 by Kunichika (1835 - 1900)

Original Kunichika (1835 - 1900) Japanese Woodblock Print
Watonai in China, 1887

Comments - Terrific kabuki illustration from the drama "Kokusen'ya Gassen," which tells the story of the warrior Watonai traveling to China to help restore the Ming Dynasty. He asked his half-sister, Kinshojo, to plead his case with her husband, General Kanki. The scene shows Ichikawa Danjuro as Watonai at center, holding a flaming torch as he waits for a signal from Kinshojo. She was to release into the river either white pigment signaling success for his plan or red pigment indicating failure. However, instead of red pigment, the red comes from her own blood, unbeknownst to anyone else. She stands at right with a sorrowful expression as she pours the bowl of blood into the river below. Watonai holds his hat aloft as he peers down at the water, his red stage makeup and flared wig adding to his imposing appearance. The bearded general stands solemnly at left, while his elderly, white-haired mother looks on aghast at her daughter-in-law. The actors are Kataoka Gado III as the general , Ichikawa Danjuro IX as Watonai, Kawarazaki Kunitaro III as the mother, and Nakamura Fukusuke IV as Kinshojo. Nice large expressive figures with beautiful color and detail in the exotic costumes and setting.

Artist - Kunichika (1835 - 1900)

Image Size - 14" x 27 1/2" + margins as shown

Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels. Hole in margin, repaired. Creasing, slight toning, a few spots and stains. Please see photos for details.

Watonai in China, 1887 by Kunichika (1835 - 1900)
Watonai in China, 1887 by Kunichika (1835 - 1900)

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