Kabuki Prints - Dating back nearly four hundred years, kabuki is a classic form of Japanese theater which combines dance and drama in highly stylized performances. This popular entertainment features colorful costumes with elaborate makeup and wigs along with spectacular staging, accompanied by live music. Kabuki woodblocks promoted contemporary plays and actors to an eager audience, who purchased the latest designs as they became available. The genre proved enormously popular, with thousands of kabuki prints issued during the Edo and Meiji eras.
Comments - Terrific scene from "The Subscription List" (Kanjincho), one of the eighteen plays made famous by the Ichikawa Danjuro line of actors. The drama tells the story of Minamoto no Yoshitsune and his faithful retainer Benkei, the warrior-monk, crossing the Ataka border disguised as monks. Intercepted at the border by the nobleman Togashi, they tell him they are collecting funds for temple restoration, so Togashi asks Benkei to read a list of the contributors. Thinking quickly, he reads a fake subscription list from a scroll. Here Benkei holds the list away from prying eyes, looking up with an angry grimace. Musicians and chanters can be seen on the stage behind the actors, playing shamisen and drums. The actor is Kawarazaki Gon'nosuke. A handsome design, detailed with embossing on the white pompoms of Benkei's costume and hat cord.
Artist - Kunichika (1835 - 1900)
Image Size - 14 1/4" x 9 1/2" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with nice color and detail as shown. Wrinkling throughout. Please see photos for details.
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