Hatakeyama Shigetada in Dan-no-ura Kabuto Gunki from the Illustrated Collection of Famous Japanese Puppets of the Osaka Bunrakuza

Seitaka Dōji from the folio Collection of One Hundred Kumadori Makeups in Kabuki, Collection 2

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Hatakeyama Shigetada in Dan-no-ura Kabuto Gunki

[Chronicle of the Battle of Dan-no-ura]

from the Illustrated Collection of Famous Japanese Puppets of the Osaka Bunrakuza

Hasegawa Sadanobu III, 1926 or 1927

Portrait of Saigō Takamori

IHL Cat. #2479

About This Print

Picturing the puppet character Hatekayam Shigetada, a high-ranking Kyoto official, who has exchanged identities with a peasant body-double to hide from the Kamakura general Tokimasa. His face has been tatooed to prove he is a harmless peasant and not the enemy of Tokimasa. Hiding in a well he jumps out when Miuranosuke, a Kyoto warrior fighting Kamakura forces, shouts into the well. 

For the stage set of this play see Bunraku Theater Stage Set for Dan-no-ura Kabuto Gunki.

Brief Plot Summary

Akoya, an entertainer in the pleasure quarters of Kyoto, was mistress to an aristocrat, a Heike warrior named Taira Kagekiyo. In 1185 he was captured in the battle of Dan-no-ura, but was able to escape. Akoya was interrogated about his whereabouts by Iwanga Saemon Munetsura, an assistant of Hatakeyama Shigetada (samurai that fought in the Dan-no-ura battle) in a palace at Horikawa. He threatened Akoya with torture if she would not reveal where Taira was hiding. Shigetada had his own plan to discover if she told the truth and presented Akoya with three instruments, the kotoshamisen and kokyu and asked her to perform for him. She plays all three instruments with such perfection that Shigetada has no reason not to trust her and accepts that she does not know where Kagekiyo is. An irritated Iwanga releases her.

Shigetada in the scene The Katsura River in a Dim Moonlight

The Other Prints in the Dan-no-ura Kabuto Gunki Set

As further explained below, each stage set print was part of a set of five prints consisting of a black and white explanatory sheet and three portraits of puppet characters appearing in the play.

explanatory sheet
壇浦兜軍記 Dan-no-ura Kabuto Gunki
click on image to enlarge

The four print set for Dan-no-ura Kabuto Gunki 
puppets from left to right (as positioned on the stage set print's tissue overlay):
Yūkun Akoya 遊君阿古屋, Hatakeyama Shigetada 畠山重忠, Iwanaga Saemon 岩永左衛門

About the "Illustrated Collection of Famous Japanese Puppets of the Osaka Bunrakuza"

This collection of forty-eight color woodblock prints was designed by Hasegawa Sadanobu III (Konobu III) (1881-1963) and issued over the period March 1926 (Taishō 15) to August 1927 (Shōwa 2)1 by the publishing houses Bijutsusha 美術社 in Tokyo and on a subscription (members only) basis by Hangakai hanmoto 版画会板元 (板畫會板元) in Kyoto. The cost per print set was 3 yen. The editor and publisher for both the Bijutsusha and Hangakai hanmoto sets was Hayashi Eikichi 林榮吉, who was also the editor for Hasegawa's Collection of One Hundred Kumadori Makeups in Kabuki. (See Hasegawa Sadanobu III (Konobu III) (1881-1963) for prints from this collection.)

The Illustrated Collection of Famous Japanese Puppets of the Osaka Bunrakuza consists of twelve sets of prints each set depicting a specific play in the bunraku repertory, as listed in the below table. Each set contains a stage set for the specific play along with three prints of puppet characters appearing in the play and an explanatory sheet, for a total of forty-eight color woodblock prints and twelve monochrome explanatory sheets. Each of the stage set prints was originally issued with a tissue overlay showing the position of the three puppet characters on the stage. All of the plays pictured were performed at the Bunraku Theater (Bunraku-za) located within the Goryō Shrine compound in Osaka. The Goryō Bunraku-za burned down in November 1926 after what has been described as "an extremely difficult managerial era" and "lost interest" by the public in the late Taishō era.2 It is unknown what role, if any, the management of the Goryō Bunraku-za may have played in the formulation and issuance of this print series in their efforts to revitalize the theater.

For more complete information on this series see the article Illustrated Collection of Famous Japanese Puppets of the Osaka Bunrakuza

1 Dates are taken from the colophons on the envelopes containing the print sets in the Waseda University Archives
2 National Diet Library website page http://www.ndl.go.jp/scenery/e/column/kansai/goryo_bunrakuza.html which provides a history of the Goryō Bunrakuza.

 Play Name in Japanese Play Name in English
 Dan-no-ura kabuto gunki
 Chronicle of the Battle of Dan-no-ura
 Yoshitsune senbon zakura 
 Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees
 Ichi-no-tani futaba gunki
 Chronicle of the Battle of Ichinotani
 Kanadehon Chūshingura, go danme
 The Treasury of Loyal Retainers, Act 5
 Kanadehon Chūshingura, shichi danme
 The Treasury of Loyal Retainers, Act 7
 Igagoe dōchū sugoroku
 The Revenge at Igagoe
 Shinjū ten no amajima
 The Love Suicides at Amijima
 Shinpan Utazaimon
 The New Scandalous Ballad of Osome and Hisamatsu
 Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami 
 Sugawara and the Secrets of  Calligraphy
 Honchō nijūshikō
 Twenty-four Examples of Filial Piety
 Kamakura sandaiki
 Three Generations of Kamakura Shoguns
 Natsumatsuri Naniwa kagami 
 Summer festival at Naniwa (Osaka)

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description Hatakeyama Shigetada in Dan-no-ura Kabuto Gunki (Chronicle of the Battle of Dan-no-ura)
 Bunraku ningyō Hatakeyama Shigetada, Dan-no-ura Kabuto Gunki
 文楽人形 壇浦兜軍記 畠山重忠

Note: Also seen translated as The Battle of Dan-no-ura; Chronicle of the Dan-no-ura Helmet; The War Chronicles of Dan-no-ura
 Series Illustrated Collection of the Famous Japanese Puppets of the Osaka Bunrakuza
 Ōsaka Bunraku-za Ningyō Gashū: Nihon Meibutsu 
 Artist Hasegawa Sadanobu III (Konobu III) (1881-1963)
信 Konobu
 Seal 信 Konobu (see above)
 Publication Date Taishō 15 (1926)
 Publisher 美術社 Bijutsusha, Tokyo and 版画会板元 Hangakai hanmoto, Kyoto
 Carver 佐藤重一 Satō Jūichi
 Publisher 板垣八重松 Itagaki Yaematsu
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent - slightly trimmed; diagonal fold lower right corner
 Genre 文楽人形 bunraku ningyō
 H x W Paper 
 14 5/8 x 9 3/4 in. (37.1 x 24.8 cm) 
 H x W Image 14 5/8 x 9 3/4 in. (37.1 x 24.8 cm) 

 Collections This Print
 Waseda University Cultural Resource Database 201-1487; Ritsumeikan University Art Research Center AcNo. arcBK06-002_07National Diet Library Call Number 414.38; The Met Thomas J. Watson Library  240.3081 H27 Quarto; British Library System number: 018894603 
last revision:
3/14/2021 created