Very little is known about the artist Hasegawa Nobuhiro (長谷川信廣). He appears to have been a student of Hasegawa Sadanobu I (一代目長谷川貞信) and was active c. 1839-40. His personal name may have been Sensuke (仙助) and he also used the surname Nanakawa (南々川) and the gô (acting name: 號) Shôkôtei (照皇亭).
A shûmei (lit., "succeed to a name": 襲名) is a ritualized name-taking or accession ceremony, as in the passing on of an acting name to a successor, often accomplished in grand naming ceremonies held in kabuki theaters. Most often, a number of actors participate in a single ceremony, taking on new geimei (stage names: 芸名), usually those of the actor's father, grandfather, or teacher. Geimei are passed down between generations of actor lineages and hold great honor and importance.
Onoe Fujaku IV (四代目尾上芙雀) began his career as Nakayama Isaku performing in miyaji shibai (small theaters or stages in the precincts of shrines and temples: 宮地芝居). He proceeded to take on a bewildering array of names, next becoming Nakayama Rakunosuke and Nakayama Toryû I at unknown dates. He then changed to Onoe Fujaku IV around 1839, when he also married the sister of the actor Onoe Tamizô II. His later names included Onoe Toryû I (一代目尾上登龍), Nakayama Shôraku, and Nakayama Kiraku II. His yagô (house name: 屋号) was Awajiya and his haimyô (literary name: 俳名). He finally took the name of Onoe Shôju in 8/1848 after traveling to Nagoya, where he remained, becoming a local zagashira (manager of a kabuki troupe: 座頭). He died in Nagoya in 1864. During his career, Fujaku IV performed a wide range of roles, as a tachiyaku (leading man: 立役), katakiyaku (villains: 敵役), and onnagata (female roles: 女方 or 女形). He was also a very skilled fukeoyama (old-women roles: 老女方) in his final years.
The tri-color cartouche reads Fujaku aratame Onoe Toryû (Fujaku changing to Onoe Toryû: 芙雀改登龍). The role name is also given and reads, apparently, Reizei Tatewaki (冷泉帯刀).
This appears to be a rare design, as we know of only two other impressions. It is finely printed with furikake ("sprinkling" or application of metallics: 振掛) on the robe and swords.
References: SDK, p. 256, no. 558