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Biography: Utagawa KAGEMATSU (歌川景松)

Utagawa Kagematsu 4/1835 Gado as Oguri Hangan
Print by Utagawa Kagematsu from 8/1840
Kataoka Gadô II as Oguri Hangan Sukeshige
in Hime kurabe futaba ezôshi

Utagawa Kagematsu signatureUtagawa Kagematsu (歌川景松 act. c. 1830s-1840s) is one of many artists from Kamigata (Osaka-Kyoto region) for whom we have very little information. He might have been a pupil of Gokotei Sadakage (五湖貞景) or Sadamasu I (貞升 later Kunimasu 國升). Possibly he was the same artist as the Edo print designer also named Utagawa Kagematsu. An alternate reading of his geimei could be "Keishô" (景松), but it is nearly always given as "Kagematsu" in the literature. Regardless, his surviving prints are scarce, perhaps fewer than ten designs, although there must have been more during his lifetime. These are all yakusha-e (actor prints: 役者会絵) except for a single known tiny mameban sheet titled Jûro banbashi (Ten-road bridge: 十路盤橋) from a landscape series in the style of Utagawa Hiroshige I called Naniwa junikei no uchi (Set of twelve views of Osaka: 浪花十二景之内).

One example of Kagematsu's work is shown on the left, a portrayal of Kataoka Gadô II (二代目 片岡我当) as Oguri Hangan Sukeshige (小栗判官助重) in Hime kurabe futaba ezôshi (Picture-book comparison of twin blades and the princess: 姫競双葉絵草紙) from 8/1840 at the Naka Theater, Osaka. The play was first performed in 1800, also at the Naka, and was one in a long series of jidaimono ("period pieces" or history plays: 時代物) categorized as Oguri Hangan mono (or Oguri mono, "Oguri Hangan plays") for both the puppet and kabuki theaters dating back to the 1660s. Kagematsu's print is the right sheet of a diptych, with the left sheet depicting Nakamura Tomijûrô II (二代目 中村富十郎) as Asaka, the wife of Yokoyama Tarô ("Yokoyama Tarô tsuma Asaka": 横山太郎妻朝香).

Utagawa Kagematsu's names and signatures

Utagawa (歌川)

Art names (geimei):
Kagematsu (景松)

Art pseudonyms ():
Ippôsai (一峯齋)
Goryûtei (五流亭)

The information on this page was adapted from John Fiorillo's web page about Utagawa Kagematsu: