Okige no kumo harau Asagochi

“Okige no kumo harau Asagochi” (“The Morning East Wind Clearing the Clouds of the Southwest“, 西南雲晴朝東風) is one of my favourite plays in yakusha-e prints, because the play was so successful that a lot of designs were produced – most by Kunichika. Written by Kawatake Mokuami and produced by Morita Kanya, this play centres on the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877 when disaffected samurai whose privileged status had been removed by government reforms rose up against the new Meiji rulers. These rebels from the south-western Satsuma Domain didn’t stand much of a chance though because they were heavily out numbered by government forces based in the eastern capital Tokyo – they were the “clouds of the southwest” being swept away by the fresh “morning east wind” of the title. 

The production was a huge success for the Shintomi theatre, running from the end of February to June 1878. Part of its success was the fact that it depicted a relatively recent event and before the Meiji period it was actually illegal to depict living people or real events, for fear that something negative might have been said or inferred. Of course kabuki had ways to get around these censorship laws by using allusion and giving characters slightly amended names, but this was a recent war and there must have been a great appetite amongst the people for stories about their heroes.

Kabuki is steeped in tradition and most of the classic plays are many hundreds of years old but during the Meiji reforms the opening up to western culture revealed new forms of realism in theatre which Japanese authors were keen to adopt. This play was an early example of this contemporary realism and seems to have been very lavish too, with a superb cast of actors and lots of special effects such as fireworks being used to simulate the canon fire and explosions of modern warfare. It apparently made a very handsome profit for all concerned but despite its success and very long run it seems to have only been staged once – presumably because people weren’t as interested later because it wasn’t a recent event.

Prints in my collection

Onoe Kikugorō V, Ichikawa Danjūrō IX & Ichikawa Sadanji I in the play “Okige no kumo harau Asagochi”, staged at the Shintomi-za theatre from 23rd February 1878

Publisher: Ueki Rinnosuke (Ebiya Rinnosuke, 植木 林之助); Carver: unknown; Dated: 1878 / month 3 / day 11

Text: 

  • L: [倉田進八郎 尾上菊五郎]  Kurata Shinpachirō by Onoe Kikugorō V 
  • M: [西條高盛 市川団十郎]   Saijō Takamori by Ichikawa Danjūrō IX  
  • R: 
    • [岸野年明 市川左団次]   Kishino Toshiaki by Ichikawa Sadanji I
    • [西南魁首三傑揃]  “Okige no kumo harau Asagochi”

Nakamura Chūtarō, Onoe Kikunosuke II, Ichikawa Kōsaku & Onoe Kikugorō V in the play “Okige no kumo harau Asagochi”, staged at the Shintomi-za theatre from 23rd February 1878

Publisher: Fukuda Kumajirō (福田熊次郎); Carver: Hori Yata (彫弥太); Dated: March 1878

Actors: 

  • Left: 
    • Nakamura Chūtarō [市川幸作] as Shōtarō [正太郎]
    • Onoe Kikunosuke II [尾上菊之介] as Magoichi [孫市]
    • Ichikawa Kōsaku [中村仲太郎] as Tokumaru [徳丸]
    • Onoe Kikugorō V [尾上菊五郎] as Kurata Shinpachirō [倉田進八郎]
  • Middle:
    • Ichikawa Danjūrō IX [市川團十郎] as Saijō Takamori [西条高盛]
  • Right: 
    • Ichikawa Sadanji I [市川左團次] as Kishino Toshiaki [岸野年秋]
    • Ichikawa Kodanji V [市川子團次] as Seppu Shinsuke [摂府真助]

Ichikawa Danjūrō IX, Ichikawa Sadanji I, Nakamura Tsuruzō, Nakamura Sōjūrō, Bandō Yoshitomoroku, Ichikawa Nedanji I & Onoe Kikugorō V in the play “Okige no kumo harau Asagochi”, staged at the Shintomi-za theatre from 23rd February 1878

Publisher: Kurata Tasuke (倉田太助); Carver: Katada Hori Cho (片田彫長); Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month 2 / day 26 (明治十一年二月廿六日御届); Price 6 sen  價六戔

Text: 

  • (right to left):
    • Onoe Kikugorō V [尾上菊五郎] as Minohara Kunimoto [簑原国元]
    • Ichikawa Nedanji II [市川子団次] as Seppu Shinsuke [摂府辛介]
    • Bandō Kichiroku [坂東喜知六] as Kōno Gorōzaemon [鴻野五郎左衛門]
    • Nakamura Sōjūrō [中村宗十郎] as Take no Ue Shirō [武ノ上四郎]
    • Nakamura Tsuruzō II [中村鶴蔵] as Naiki Takateru [内記高照]
    • Ichikawa Sadanji I [市川左団次] as Kishino Toshiaki [岸野年明]
    • Ichikawa Danjūrō IX [市川団十郎] as Saijō Takamori [西條高盛]

Various actors plus Ichikawa Danjūrō IX in the play “Okige no kumo harau Asagochi”, staged at the Shintomi-za theatre from 23rd February 1878

Publisher: Daikokuyo Kinzaburō (Yamamura Kinzaburō, 山村金三郎); Carver: unknown; Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month 4 (April)

Actors: 

  • [徳丸 小川幸作] Tokumaru by Ogawa Kōsaku
  • [花市 尾上音丸] Hana-ichi by Onoe Otomaru
  • [高之助 市川高平] Kōnosuke by Ichikawa Takahira
  • [米市 中村福之助] Yoneichi by Nakamura Fukunosuke
  • [幸松 中村仲太郎] Yukimatsu (?Kōmatsu) by Nakamura Nakatarō
  • [孫左衛門倅孫市 尾上菊之助] Magozaemon segare Magoichi by Onoe Kikunosuke II 
  • [三吉 中村雀太郎] Miyoshi (?Sankichi) by Nakamura Suzumetarō
  • [直次郎 中村芝丸] Naojirō by Nakamura Shibamaru
  • [蔵之助 中村鶴丸] Kuranosuke by Nakamura Tsurumaru
  • [富三郎 岩井杜紫丸] Tomizaburō by Iwai Tomurasakimaru
  • [西条高盛 市川團十郎] Saijō Takamori by Ichikawa Danjūrō IX

Various actors plus Ichikawa Danjūrō IX in the play “Okige no kumo harau Asagochi”, staged at the Shintomi-za theatre from 23rd February 1878

Publisher: Fukuda Kumajirō (福田熊次郎); Carver: Hori Yata (彫弥太); Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month 2 (February)

  • Nakamura Sōjūrō [中村宗十郎] as Take no Ue Shirō [武ノ上四郎]
  • ??
  • Ichikawa Danjūrō IX [市川團十郎] as Saijō Takamori [西条高盛] 
  • Ichikawa Sadanji I [市川左団次] as Kishino Toshiaki [岸野年明]
  • Onoe Kikunosuke II [尾上菊之助] as [孫左衛門倅孫市] Magozaemon segare Magoichi 

Onoe Kikugorō V and Nakamura Sōjūrō in the scene “Minohara’s Death in Battle at Kichiji Pass”; in the play “Okige no kumo harau Asagochi”, staged at the Shintomi-za theatre from 23rd February 1878

Publisher: Fukuda Kumajirō (福田熊次郎); Carver: Hori Yata (彫弥太); Dated: Date: 1878 March

Text:

  • M: [吉治越蓑原討死之場] “Minohara’s Death in Battle at Kichiji Pass” (scene)
  • R: 
    • Onoe Kikugorō V [尾上菊五郎] as Minohara Kunimoto (Shinohara Kunimoto) [簑原国元]
    • Nakamura Sōjūrō [中村宗十郎] as Takenokami Shirō (actually Ikegami Shirō) [武上四郎]

Paul Morris Griffith The cartouche in the centre sheet gives the name of this particular scene, rather than the name of the play. The character ‘ba’ (場) at the end means ‘scene’. The title reads: ‘Kichijigoe Minohara Uchiji no Ba’, ‘Minohara’s Death in Battle at Kichiji Pass’. The play was one we’ve encountered before: ‘Okige no Kumo Harau Asagochi’ (西南雲晴朝東風), performed at the Shintomi-za from the 23rd of March, 1878. Nakamura Sōjūrō is playing Takenokami Shirō, and Onoe Kikugorō V is playing Minohara Kunimoto. The real historical names of these characters were Ikegami Shirō and Shinohara Kunimoto.

Designs that I don’t own

Iwai Hanshirō VIII 岩井半四郎 as Aki the mistress of Kishino Toshiaki 岸野の妾おあき (the mistress of Kirino Toshiaki in real life); Ichikawa Danjūrō IX 市川団十郎 as Saijō Takamori 西條高盛 (Saigō Takamori in real life) and Ichikawa Sadanji 市川左団次 as Hyakushō Sakuzō 百姓作蔵 in the play Okige no kumo harau asagochi (The Morning East Wind Clearing the Clouds of the Southwest), written by Kawatake Mokuami (1816-1893), produced by Morita Kanya (1846-1897) and performed at Morita’s Shitomi Theater in February 1878. The background text is dialogue between Danjūrō’s character and Sadanji’s character. (borrowed from MyJapaneseHanga)

Publisher: Fukuda Kumajirō 福田熊次良 [Marks: pub. ref. 071; Right cartouche – 長谷川丁廿番地 – Hasegawachō 20-banchi [publisher’s address]; 出版人 福田熊次良 – publisher Fukuda Kumajirō; Carver: Horikō Yata 彫工弥太; Dated: March 1878 明治十一年三月 日 御届

The role was also figured in the famous series “100 roles of Baiko” (borrowed from MyJapaneseHanga)

3 pages from Waseda: Waseda University Cultural Resource Databases[SubDB-search]

Ichikawa Danjuro IX in the role of Saigo Takamori, with other actors by Yoshu Chikanobu, 1878

Borrowed from https://ccdl.claremont.edu/digital/collection/cyw/id/219 

Thus the great Ichikawa Danjuro IX (1839-1903) plays “Saijo” (Saigo) Takamori, Ichikawa Sadanji (1842-1904) is “Kishino” (Kirino) Toshiaki, Onoe Kikugoro V (1844-1903) is “Minohara” (Shinohara) Kunimoto (1836-1877), Nakamura Sojuro (1835-1889) is “Takenokami” (Ikegami) Shiro, and the famous actor Iwai Hanshiro VIII (1829-1882) is in the female role (onnagata) of Kishino’s mistress. The play was performed in March 1878 at the Shintomi-za in Tokyo and entitled “The Morning East Wind Clearing the Clouds of the Southwest”/ Okige no Kumo Harau Asagochi, which alludes to the government forces sent from eastern Japan to suppress rebels in the southwest island of Kyushu. According to Brandon and Leiter, “The scenes of modern warfare, with exploding artillery shells (simulated by fireworks) and gunfire, were a great success” and were “an extremely important step toward contemporary realism.” James R. Brandon and Samuel L. Leiter (ed.) Kabuki Plays on Stage, Volume 4: Restoration and Reform, 1872-1905 (Honolulu: University of Hawai’I Press, 2003), p. 19.

Publisher: Yamamura Kinzaburō 山村金三郎; Carver: Horikō Ginjirō 彫工銀治郎; Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / no month / no day

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi: Ichikawa Danjuro IX as Saijo Takamori ( = Saigo Takamori ) in the play Okige no kumo harau asagochi by the playwright Kawatake Shinshichi II performed at the Shintomi-za Theatre from the 23rd of the second month, 1878. Saigo Takamori was leader of the rebellion against the Meiji government in 1877. Published by Tsuda Genshichi and dated the 15th of the second month, so it was issued as pre-publicity.

Borrowed from: http://www.japaneseprints-london.com/5040/tsukioka-yoshitoshi-1839-1892-78/

Publisher: Yamamura Kinzaburō (山村 金三郎); Carver: Horiko Ginjirō (彫工銀); Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month 2

3 pages at RITS:

Publisher: 沢村屋清吉 Sawamuraya Seikichi (沢村屋 清吉); Carver: Horiko Ginjirō (彫銀); Dated:  Meiji11 (1878) / month 2

3 pages at RITS:

Publisher: Fukuda Kumajirō (福田熊次郎); Carver: Watanabe Hori Yata (渡辺彫弥太); Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month 2;

Title: 「西南雲晴朝東風 誠忠最後之場」”Seichū saigo no ba”  

3 pages at RITS:

Yoshitoshi: Publisher: Fukuda Kumajirō (福田熊次郎); Carver: unknown; Dated: Meiji11 (1878)

3 pages at RITS:

Publisher: Fukuda Kumajirō (福田熊次郎); Carver: unknown; Meiji11 (1878) / month 3

3 pages at RITS:

There is also a simpler version at yamada-shoten:

https://www.yamada-shoten.com/onlinestore/detail.php?item_id=48862

明治11年(1878)  

備考・解説
左から
小川家治 / 尾上菊五郎
岸野年明 / 市川左団次
兵■方五郎蔵 / 市川団十郎

Chikanobu: Publisher: Matsushita Heibei (松下平兵エ); Carver: Hori Gin (彫銀); Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month 2

3 pages at RITS:

Publisher: Uemura Seizaemon (上村清左衛門 or 上村清左工門); Carver: Hori Gin (彫銀); Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month 2 / day 5 (御届明治十一年二月五日)

3 pages at Waseda: Waseda University Cultural Resource Databases[SubDB-search]

Publisher: Kodama Matashichi? (児玉 又七?); Carver: Horikō Hei (Hira) (彫工平); Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month 5 / day 23 (御届明治十年五月廿三日)

Publisher: Arai Kisaburō (荒井 喜三郎) seal of the publisher Iseya Kisaburō; Carver: unknown; Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month 5 / day 17  (御届明治十年五月十七日); price 6 sen

3 pages on Waseda: Waseda University Cultural Resource Databases[SubDB-search]

 

Yoshitoshi (芳年): Publisher: (written too faintly in right margin); Carver: Watanabe Hori Ei (渡辺彫栄); Dated: Maiji11 (1878) / month 3 / 20th day?

「西南雲晴朝東風」 「簑原国元 尾上菊五郎」

2 pages on Waseda: Waseda University Cultural Resource Databases[SubDB-search]

Publisher: Ueki Rinnosuke (植木 林之助 うえき りんのすけ); Carver: Watanabe Hori Yata (渡辺彫弥太 わたなべほりやた); Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month ? / day 10 明治11年(1878)

  • 岸野年秋 / [初代] 市川 左團次 いちかわ さだんじ
  • 蓑原国元 / [5代目] 尾上 菊五郎 おのえ きくごろう
  • 西条の一子 / [2代目] 尾上 菊之助 おのえ きくのすけ
  • 西条高盛 / [9代目] 市川 團十郎 いちかわ だんじゅうろう

https://www2.ntj.jac.go.jp/dglib/collections/viewer?division=collections&class=nishikie&type=title&istart=30&iselect=%25E3%2581%258A&trace=detail&trace=zoom&did=744

Publisher: Hasegawa Sonokichi (長谷川 其吉 はせがわ そのきち); Carver: Katada Hori Cho (片田彫長 かただほりちょう); Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month 2 / day 26 (明治11年(1878)2月26日)

  • 摂府辛助 / [初代] 市川 子團次 いちかわ ねだんじ ( [5代目] 市川 小團次 いちかわ こだんじ)
  • 岸野年明 / [初代] 市川 左團次 いちかわ さだんじ
  • 簑原国元 / [5代目] 尾上 菊五郎 おのえ きくごろう
  • 武ノ上四郎 / 中村 宗十郎 なかむら そうじゅうろう
  • 西條高盛 / [9代目] 市川 團十郎 いちかわ だんじゅうろう

https://www2.ntj.jac.go.jp/dglib/collections/view_detail_nishikie?division=collections&class=nishikie&type=title&istart=30&iselect=%25E3%2581%258A&trace=detail&did=998

https://www.yamada-shoten.com/onlinestore/detail.php?item_id=47503

Scene: 岸野陣屋の場

Dated: 明治11年(1878)  

Actors: 市川団十郎 / 尾上菊五郎 / 市川左団次 / 岩井半四郎

Chronology of prints

The table below lists every design that I have located that was produced before or during the play’s run, listed in the order of the publication dates on the print. Most prints lack a day of the month and some even lack a month so it has been tricky to order them, but one thing that strikes me is that there was a huge interest in producing prints for this play and they were produced right the way from early February to May.  

Kunichika was by far the most prolific of the artists, followed by Chikanobu & Yoshitoshi. Yoshitoshi seems to have just been commissioned for 2 yakusha-e diptychs and a single triptych in his realistic style. Chikanobu’s contributions are in his master’s style. 

Unsurprisingly, many publishers wanted to jump on the bandwagon and cash in on the popularity of the play. Fukuda Kumajirō (福田熊次郎) was the most prolific, followed by Yamamura Kinzaburō (山村金三郎) & Ueki Rinnosuke (植木 林之助) with 2 and then Matsushita Heibei (松下平兵エ), Sawamuraya Seikichi (沢村屋 清吉), Uemura Seizaemon (上村清左工門), Tsuda Genshichi (津田源七), Kurata Tasuke (倉田太助), Arai Kisaburō (荒井 喜三郎), Hasegawa Sonokichi (長谷川 其吉) & Kodama Matashichi(?) (児玉 又七?) each producing 1.

Fukuda Kumajirō seems to have only used the carver Watanabe Hori Yata (彫弥太), while other publishers used Horikō Ginjirō (彫工銀治郎), Katada Hori Cho (片田彫長), Watanabe Hori Ei (渡辺彫栄) & Horikō Hei (Hira) (彫工平).

Undated

 

Kunichika

Publisher: ???; Carver: ???; Dated: 明治11年(1878)

Kunichika

Publisher: Ueki Rinnosuke (植木 林之助 うえき りんのすけ); Carver: Watanabe Hori Yata (渡辺彫弥太 わたなべほりやた); Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month ? / day 10 明治11年(1878)

Chikanobu

Publisher: Yamamura Kinzaburō (山村金三郎); Carver: Horikō Ginjirō (彫工銀治郎); Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / no month / no day

Yoshitoshi

Publisher: Fukuda Kumajirō (福田熊次郎); Carver: unknown; Dated: Meiji11 (1878)

February 1878

These would have been produced as publicity materials

 

Chikanobu

Publisher: Matsushita Heibei (松下平兵エ); Carver: Hori Gin (彫銀); Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month 2

Kunichika

Publisher: Fukuda Kumajirō (福田熊次郎); Carver: Hori Yata (彫弥太); Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month 2 (February)

Kunichika

Publisher: Fukuda Kumajirō (福田熊次郎); Carver: Watanabe Hori Yata (渡辺彫弥太); Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month 2

Kunichika

Publisher: Sawamuraya Seikichi (沢村屋 清吉); Carver: Horiko Ginjirō (彫銀); Dated:  Meiji11 (1878) / month 2

Kunichika

Publisher: Yamamura Kinzaburō (山村 金三郎); Carver: Horiko Ginjirō (彫工銀); Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month 2

Kunichika

Publisher: Uemura Seizaemon (上村清左衛門 or 上村清左工門); Carver: Hori Gin (彫銀); Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month 2 / day 5 (御届明治十一年二月五日)

Yoshitoshi

Publisher: Tsuda Genshichi (津田源七); Carver: 山室春吉刀 やまむろはるきちかたな ( 山室 春吉 やまむろ はるきち); Dated: February 15th 

Kunichika

Publisher: Hasegawa Sonokichi (長谷川 其吉 はせがわ そのきち); Carver: Katada Hori Cho (片田彫長 かただほりちょう); Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month 2 / day 26 (明治11年(1878)2月26日)

Kunichika

Publisher: Kurata Tasuke (倉田太助); Carver: Katada Hori Cho (片田彫長); Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month 2 / day 26 

March 1878

These were produced slightly later and might have been a reaction to the initial hype

 

Kunichika 

Publisher: Fukuda Kumajirō (福田熊次郎); Carver: unknown; Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month 3

Kunichika:

Publisher: Fukuda Kumajirō (福田熊次郎); Carver: Hori Yata (彫弥太); Dated: 1878 / month 3

Kunichika

Publisher: Fukuda Kumajirō (福田熊次郎); Carver: Hori Yata (彫弥太); Dated: March 1878

Kunichika

Publisher: Fukuda Kumajirō (福田熊次良); Carver: Horikō Yata (彫工弥太); Dated: March 1878 明治十一年三月 日 御届

Yoshitoshi (芳年) 

Publisher: (written too faintly in right margin); Carver: Watanabe Hori Ei (渡辺彫栄); Dated: Maiji11 (1878) / month 3 / 20th day?

「簑原国元 尾上菊五郎」

Kunichika 

Publisher: Ueki Rinnosuke (Ebiya Rinnosuke, 植木 林之助); Carver: unknown; Dated: 1878 / month 3 / day 11

April 1878

These were definitely produced in response to the immense interest in the play 

 

Kunichika

Publisher: Daikokuyo Kinzaburō (Yamamura Kinzaburō, 山村金三郎); Carver: unknown; Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month 4 (April)

May 1878

 

Kunichika

Publisher: Arai Kisaburō (荒井 喜三郎) seal of the publisher Iseya Kisaburō; Carver: unknown; Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month 5 / day 17  (御届明治十年五月十七日); price 6 sen

Kunichika

Publisher: Kodama Matashichi? (児玉 又七?); Carver: Horikō Hei (Hira) (彫工平); Dated: Meiji11 (1878) / month 5 / day 23 (御届明治十年五月廿三日)

 

Banzuke

Here is the performance pamphlet – the “programme”.

References used

  • Kabuki Plays on Stage: Restoration and Reform,1872-1905, ed., James R. Brandon, Samuel L. Leiter, University of HawaiiPress, 2003, p. 19
  • [A] Kabuki Reader: History and Performance, Samuel L. Leiter, ed., M.E. Sharpe, 2002, p. 148, footnote 27

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