The actor Nakamura Nakazo I as Yamaoka no Saburo in 'Momiji Kumo Nishiki no Tsuri Yogi', (Maple Clouds: A Brocade of Coverlets Hung Up), act three of the play Kausara Hanasakae Hachi no Ki (The EverBlooming Potted Tree)
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Creator Name: Ippitsusai Buncho
Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Japanese
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: Japanese; fl. c.1755-1790 Asia,East Asia,Japan
Creator Active Place: Asia,East Asia,Japan
Creator Name-CRT: Ippitsusai Buncho
Title: The actor Nakamura Nakazo I as Yamaoka no Saburo in 'Momiji Kumo Nishiki no Tsuri Yogi', (Maple Clouds: A Brocade of Coverlets Hung Up), act three of the play Kausara Hanasakae Hachi no Ki (The EverBlooming Potted Tree)
Title Type: preferred
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1755
Creation End Date: 1790
Creation Date: unknown
Creation Place: Asia,East Asia,Japan
Object Type: Prints
Classification Term: Woodblock
Materials and Techniques: Woodblock print.
Dimensions: Hosoban; 32.7 x 15.2 cm (untrimmed)
Inscriptions: SIGNATURE: Ippitsusai Buncho gaARTIST'S SEAL: Mori uji
AMICA Contributor: The Art Institute of Chicago
Owner Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
ID Number: 1925.2532
Credit Line: The Art Institute of Chicago, The Clarence Buckingham Collection
Context: In this print we see the stage set for a mapleviewing scene, with a striped curtain hanging from one of the trees to create a private enclosure. Several other prints by Buncho show a similar setting, and all relate to a mapleviewing dance interlude, 'Momiji Kumo Nishiki no Tsuri Yogi', performed in the third act of the play Kawaranu Hanasakae Hachi no Ki. The dance, basically a duet between Ichikawa Yaozo II as the warrior Hojo Tokiyori and Segawa Kikunojo II as the courtesan Tamagiku, with onstage musical accompaniment by the chanter Tokiwazu Moji-tayu, is depicted in another hosoban print by Buncho (see 'The Actor's Image' catalogue, fig. 8. 1, p.64). Nakazo I played what appears to have been a supporting role as the servant Yamaoka no Saburo. Theatrical records describe his costume as a 'stiff white hunting cloak and court hat' (sh1rahari eboshi); an illustration in an actor critique (yakusha hyobanki) of the following year shows Nakazo I, seated with a wooden pail, wearing thiscostume (see 'The Actor's Image' catalogue, fig. 8.2, p.64). The libretto for the play has not survived, so it is difficult to say exactly why Nakazo I is brandishing a demon mask in the air. We do know, however, that this demon mask was a Hojo family treasure which Tamagiku was trying to steal. A similar combination of themes - mapl-viewing party, beautiful women, and demons - occurs in the famous No play Momiji-gari (Maple Viewing), and this new Kabuki dance interlude of 1769 was probably a creative reinterpretation of that ancient drama.Since Nakazo I was much in demand for his remarkably sinister interpretations of villainous roles, it is likely that Yamaoka no Saburo was an evil character.As in so many eighteenth-century prints, the fugitive indigo blue pigment - used herein the sky and in the stripes of the curtain - has changed to a dull sand color.
AMICA ID: AIC_.1925.2532
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright The Art Institute of Chicago, 1998
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