Monkey and Rooster: Sawamura Tossho as Shinsaku and Sawamura Tanosuke as the Daughter Osan and 1869 - Handsome kabuki print from a rarely seen Kunichika series pairing actors with the animals of the zodiac. At right for the rooster is a scene from the play commonly known as "Sansho Dayu." In the tale, the evil samurai Sansho Dayu has overthrown the governor Iwaka, and sold Iwaka's children into slavery. Iwaka's loyal retainer Tatebe tried to rescue the children, but was captured and sentenced to death. On the day of the execution, Sansho's beautiful daughter, Osan, turned into a rooster as the sun rose and chewed through the ropes binding the prisoner, setting him free. At lower right, Osan begins the transformation into a fowl, her kimono a mass of delicate feathers and her sleeves rising up like wings. At left, Shinsaku stares down at her with an angry frown as he pushes up his kimono sleeve. The portraits are set against a tie-dyed textile pattern divided diagonally into red and purple, creating a striking backdrop for the pair. From left, the actors are Sawamura Tossho an Sawamura Tanosuke. A great image, beautifully colored and detailed.
Artist - Kunichika (1835 - 1900)
Image Size - 14 1/4" x 9 3/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Horizontal centerfold. Slight creasing, a couple small marks. Please see photos for details.
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