Oriawase tsuzure no nishiki premiered in 1764 as an adaptation of Katakiuchi tsuzure no nishiki (first produced in 1736).
Jirôzaemon is an outcast (hinin or non-person) trying to survive near a cemetery along the Daian Temple Embankment (Daianji
Tsuzumi). There he is confronted by Kamura Utaemon as Takaichi Buemon looks on. Utaemon intends to test the worthiness of his sword (katana) — which Buemon has judged to be a fake — by killing a hinin. Jirôzaemon is ill but attempts to fend off his attackers.
Utaemon, who has taken away Jirôzaemon's bamboo sword cane (named Aoe Uesaka), reaches for his katana as Jirôzaemon
subdues one of Utaemon's underlings. In the Katakiuchi version of the tale, Jirôzaemon gains a temporary reprieve, but when Utaemon
and his henchmen return he is killed. Buemon cannot abide the heartless murder and aids Jirôzaemon's son in taking revenge and slaying
Prints of this early vintage are difficult to find. Note the stockier drawing of the figures with their rectilinear faces and strong jaws. The polished
sophistication of later works is absent here, creating an arguably less affected, unvarnished portrayal of the actors in famous roles.
Okada (a famous private Japanese collection not seen in public for more than 70 years until its recent dispersal, a blockbuster event in the world of kamigata-e; see KAM).
References: IBKYS-I, no. 201; IKB-I, no. 1-385; NKE, pp. 292-293