Nakamura Shikan IV , Ichikawa Sadanji and Onoe Kikugorō V in Kagamiyama wakabo no momiji at the Chitoseza

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Nakamura Shikan IV, Ichikawa Sadanji and Onoe Kikugorō V in Kagamiyama wakaba no momiji

at the Chitoseza

by Utagawa Fusatane, 1889

Utagawa Fusatane (active 1854-1889)

IHL Cat. #1274

About This Print

A scene from the final act [大切] of the play Kagamiyama wakaba no momiji [鏡山若葉のもみじ], performed at the Chitose-za [千歳座]1 on May 15, 1889.  The actors and their roles, from right to left are:

Nakamura Shikan IV 中村芝翫 as Matsuōmaru 松王丸 
Ichikawa Sadanji 市川左團次 as Umeōmaru 梅王丸  
Onoe Kikugoro V 尾上 菊五郎 as Sakuramaru 櫻丸 [桜丸]

While this print does not identify the scene or play being portrayed, the Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University, has a number of prints in their collection that portray this particular scene and play with the same actors and rolls.2  This print is also not dated, and if we assume that the print was truly done for the May 15, 1889 performance, this would be one of Fusatane's latest known prints, as his last date of activity is most often shown at 1888.  [I have updated his biography on this site to reflect the 1889 date.]  

One other thing to consider in confirming this print's date is the publisher's seal on this print, the use of which Andreas Marks dates from approximately 1867 to 1872.

I cannot find any English language information on this play. 

For background on the actors see their respective entries in the article The Kabuki Actor on this site.

1 The Chitose-za was renamed the Meiji Theater (Meijiza) in 1893.
2 Reference online database of Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University, AcNo.arcUY0228, UY0229, UY0230 and AcNo.shiUYa0024, shiUYa0023 and shiUYa0022.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description Nakamura Shikan IV as Matsuōmaru, Ichikawa Sadanji as Umeōmaru and Onoe Kikugorō V as Sakuramaru in Kagamiyama wakaba no momiji at the Chitoseza
 Artist Utagawa Fusatane (active 1854-1888)
Ōsai Fusatani hitsu 櫻斎房種筆
 Seal unread seal as shown above beneath signature
 Publication Date
 May 1889 [based upon performance date of play]
Tsujiokaya Bunsuke 辻岡文助

seal 文 辻文板よこ山町三丁目 bun, Tsujibun han, Yokoyamachō

 [Marks: pub. ref. 548; seal ref. 23-067]
 Impression fair - sloppy registration
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - separate sheets; no backing; light overall toning, soiling wrinkling
 Genre ukiyo-e; kabuki-ga
 Format oban triptych
 H x W Paper 
 14 3/8 x 9 13/16 in. (36.5 x 24.9 cm) (each sheet)
 H x W Image left sheet:13 3/4 x 9 7/16 (34.9 x 24 cm); center sheet: 13 3/4 x 9 5/16 (34.9 x 23.7 cm); right sheet: 13 3/4 x 9 3/16 in.(34.9 x 23.3 cm)

 Collections This Print

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