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Archive: Shunchô (松頂)

Nakamura Utaemon III as Amakawaya (wine-shop merchant: 天川や) in Ôishizuri sakura tanzaku, Naka no Shibai, Osaka
Shunchô ga
Artist seal not clearly printed (unread)
Toshin (Toshikuraya Shinbei) and Kanô
(H x W)
Ôban nishiki-e
37.5 x 25.9 cm
Very good color, unbacked; repaired binding holes along left edge, and a few small repaired wormholes
Price (USD/¥):

Inquiry SCH01


Although the plot for Ôishizuri sakura tanzaku (Ôishi’s stone rubbing, a poem card, and flowering cherry: 大西摺桜花短冊) remains unknown, some role names (such as the virtuous wives Oishi and Osono, or Okaru's brother, Teraoka Heiemon) inscribed on prints by several artists for this production suggest that the story line was adapted from the most famous of all revenge plays, Kanadehon chûshingura (Copybook of the Treasury of Loyal Retainers). Prints by Hokushû and Yoshikuni for this performance further identify Utaemon's role of the wine-shop merchant as Amakawaya Igo (later called Yatô Yomoshichi). Utaemon also performed as Tashirô Yasubei (a.k.a. the servant Yasuke).


The poem on the left side of this print is signed Shikan (芝翫), the poetry name used by Utaemon III.

For a another design of this same performance and scene, see YSK16. For a different scene from the same performance, see HKK02.

Very little is known of this artist who signed as Shunchô (春頂). He was one of several printmakers using the artist name "Shunchô," each with different kanji for the "chô" (see, for example, HSO01, signed Shunchô 春). The present artist was a pupil of Hokushû and worked circa 1815-1823.

References: OSP, no. 51; NKE, p. 570