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Archive: Sadamasu (later Kunimasu)

Description:
Arashi Tokusaburô III as onnadate (chivalrous woman) Ohashi in Nippon daiichi mekari no jinji (日本第和布苅神事), Onishi Theater, Osaka
Signature:
Gochôtei Sadamasu ga (五蝶亭貞廣画)
Seals:
No artist seal
Publisher:
Honsei (Honya Seishichi)
Date:
1/1838
Format:
(H x W)
Ôban nishiki-e
36.4 x 25.5 cm
Impression:
Deluxe edition with metallics
Condition:
Excellent color and condition, unbacked; minute filled worm hole under shakuhachi
Price (USD/¥):
SOLD

Inquiry: KMS34

Comments:
Background

The plot of Nippon daiichi mekari no jinji is unknown to us. It was written by Shôzô Namiki I (1730-73), who scripted plays for both bunraku (puppet theater: 文楽) and kabuki. He was especially skilled at adapting techniques from bunraku for kabuki, and is credited with introducing new stage devices and machinery, as well as perfecting the revolving stage.

An onnadate (女伊達 or 女作) was the female equivalent of the otokodate (男伊達) or (男作), lit., "standing man," or "one who stands up like a man." The otokodate was idealized as an heroic figure. a chivalrous commoner who defended the weak and oppressed against abusive samurai. Otokodate were popularized in literature and on the kabuki stage as champions of the lower class citizens.

Design

The actor Arashi Tokusaburô III (later called Arashi Rikan III) held the name Tokusaburô III from 1830 to 10/1834, and again from 6/1837 to the 10/1843. The tachibana (mandarin orange blossoms) decorating his black inner robe represent the crest of the Arashi acting lineage. Versatile and blessed with a strong voice, Tokusaburô III / Rikan III was a skilled kaneru yakusha (all-around actor: 兼ねる役者) who found success in Osaka, Kyoto, and Edo.

The poem is by the actor, signed "Kitchô," a stage name he had used in 1834-37.

The metallics (gold-color brass) on our impression are better preserved than on the example shown in Schwaab (ex-Haber collection: see OSP below).

References: OSP, no. 186; Sadamasu web page