Issun Tokubei in Natsumatsuri Naniwa Kagami 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

Issun Tokubei in Natsumatsuri Naniwa Kagami 

[The Summer Festival in Naniwa]

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

Hasegawa Sadanobu III, 1926 or 1927

Portrait of Saigō Takamori

IHL Cat. #2482

About This Print

Picturing the puppet character, the swordsman Issun Tokubei.

Brief Plot Summary
Danshichi is a fishmonger and otokodate (chivalrous commoner) who looks after the welfare of ordinary townspeople against the samurai. He had been imprisoned for wounding a samurai, but after receiving a pardon he is to be released. His wife, Okaji, son, Ichimatsu and Sabu, another otokodate, go to meet him. While they are praying, Danshichi is brought out and released, goes to the barber and gets a clean set of clothes. The courtesan Kotoura enters trailed by the evil samurai Sagaemon. Danshihsi gives him a beating and then gets into another fight with Tokubei who has come to get Kotoura, although the two men realizing they are both loyal to the same samurai Hyodayu, swear eternal friendship. In the final act, a festival is in progress and Danshichi catches up with Giheiji, his evil father-in-law. Giheiji says he kidnapped Kotoura in order to sell her. Danshichi offers to buy her but as he has no money. Realizing he has been tricked, the two get into a fight and Danshichi kills him.

The Other Prints in the Natsumatsuri Naniwa Kagami 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
夏祭浪花鑑 Natsumatsuri Naniwa Kagami
Source: Waseda University Cultural Resource Database 201-1553
click on image to enlarge

The four print set for  Natsumatsuri Naniwa Kagami
puppets from left to right (as positioned on the stage set print's tissue overlay):
Tsurifun no Sabu 釣船の三婦, Issun Tokubei 一寸徳兵衛Danshichi Kurobei 団七九郎兵衛 

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 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 Issun Tokubei in Natsumatsuri Naniwa Kagami [The Summer Festival in Naniwa
 Bunraku ningyō Issun Tokubei, Natsumatsuri Naniwa Kagami
 文楽人形 夏祭浪花鑑 一寸徳兵衛

Note: also seen translated as The Summer Festival in Old Ōsaka; The Summer Festival in Naniwa; Naniwa's Mirror in a Summer Festival; Summer Festival: A Mirror of Osaka; Mirror of the Summer Festival in Osaka
 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 or Shōwa 2 (1926 or 1927)
 Publisher 美術社 Bijutsusha, Tokyo and 版画会板元 Hangakai hanmoto, Kyoto
 Carver 佐藤重一 Satō Jūichi
 Printer 板垣八重松 Itagaki Yaematsu
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent
 Genre 文楽人形 bunraku ningyō
 H x W Paper 
 14 7/16 x 9 7/8 in. (36.7 x 25.1 cm) 
 H x W Image 14 7/16 x 9 7/8 in. (36.7 x 25.1 cm) 

 Collections This Print
 Waseda University Cultural Resource Database 201-1461; Ritsumeikan University Art Research Center AcNo. arcBK06-002_64National Diet Library Call Number 414.38; The Met Thomas J. Watson Library  240.3081 H27 Quarto; British Library System number: 018894603 
last revision:
5/16/2021 created