January delivery from Japan

This is actually 2 deliveries that arrived within a few weeks of each other. Most of these haven’t been identified yet so watch this apace! 🙂 

This print is one of my favourites, because of the unusual composition and the story behind it. Read more in my dedicated post on the affair.

Kunichika: Ichikawa Sadanji I, Sawamura Gennosuke IV, Nakamura Fukusuke IV & Ichikawa Danjūrō IX in the play “Sanpu Gokō Utsusu Gentō” (三府五港写幻灯, “The Photographic Lantern of the Three Prefectures and the Five Ports”?), staged at the Shintomi-za theatre from 20th October 1887

This is yet another print from one of my favourite plays which I featured in this blog post.

Kunichika: Nakamura Sōjūrō, Nakamura Nakazō III, Ichikawa Danjūrō IX, Ichikawa Sadanji I & Onoe Kikunosuke II in the play “Okige no Kumo Harau Asagochi” (西南雲晴朝東風), staged at the Shintomi-za theatre from 23rd February 1878

This print is absolutely stunning and one of the best of its type I have ever seen. Prints with a Meiji red background and black and gold border (imitating a lacquer frame) were very common in the 1870s – in fact it became a bit of a design cliché. But this one has 3/4 length characters and a really thick border. It also have some really beautiful burnishing on the black kimonos too. 

Kunichika: Nakamura Jusaburō III, Sawamura Tosshō II & Bando Hikosaburō V in the play “Naniwagata Irie no Ōshio” (浪花潟入江大塩, or 鹽), staged at the Murayama-za theatre from 10th of the seventh month 1872

The next print has a lovely picture-in-picture featuring the same actor playing both parts. I’d love to know more about the plot of this play! 

Kunichika: Onoe Kikugorō V, ?Bandō kokorozashi u-chō?, Bandō Hikosaburō V & Nakamura Shikan IV in the play “Shinpan Ukina no Yomiuri” (新板色読販), staged at the Morita-za theatre from 16th May 1874

The next print is badly stained but I have never been able to get hold of a perfect version and they are quite rare so I plumped for this copy. I love the geometric backgrounds and picture-in-picture effects.

Kunichika: Bandō Mitsugorō VI, Ichimura Kakitsu IV & Sawamura Tosshō II in the play “Musume Hyoban Zen’aku Kagami” (処女評判善悪鏡), staged at the Ichimura-za theatre from 1st of the 8th month 1865

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