Toad Magician; Courtesan Akoya Playing the Koto - Intriguing print featuring two kabuki scenes, the image divided diagonally. At left, a magician has conjured up an enormous toad to assist him, the creature leering up with yellow eyes and a gaping red mouth. The samurai leans forward with a scowl, throwing his hands out in alarm. He wears a black vest patterned with a fierce dragon and flames over a suit of armor, his hair sticking up wildly atop his head with longer locks falling over his shoulders and the rest in a low ponytail at his back. At right, the Genji commander Shigetada has kidnapped the lovely courtesan Akoya, mistress of the warrior Taira Kagekiyo, hoping to force her to reveal his whereabouts after he escaped following the Battle of Dan-no-ura. After she denied knowing his whereabouts, he challenged her to play three instruments: a shamisen, a koto, and a kokyu. She begins playing, singing of her lover for Kagekiyo, and Shigetada is moved by her emotions, understanding that she is not lying and truly does not know where he is. A great design with large colorful figures and a supernatural element in the enormous toad.
Artist - Chikanobu (1838 - 1912)
Image Size - 14 1/4" x 28" + left margin as shown
Condition - This print with nice detail as shown. Three attached panels. Vertical folds. Small holes, repaired. Wrinkling throughout, a few stains. Please see photos for details.
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