We have not located a text or synopsis for this sewamono (domestic drama). Based on other designs for the play, this scene apparently precedes a violent confrontation between Osen and Isuke. Meisaku kiriko no akebono was written by Chikamatsu Tokusô (1751-1810), a disciple of Chikamatsu Hanji (1725-1783). The play, premiering in 1801 at the Naka no shibai, was one of the sewamono for which Tokusô was admired. After working in the puppet theater, Tokusô eventually became a playwright for the kabuki theater, where he pioneered innovative ways of bringing contemporary news and events to the stage, as well as modernizing old plays and adapting yomihon ("books for reading," a fiction genre flourishing in Kamigata, featuring lengthy stories filled with romance and heroic figures, plus a dash of didacticism).
The preservation of colors is excellent, and the overall condition quite good for a print of this period. Rarer still is a design from one of the Kyoto theaters, as here.
大判 (37.5 x 51.5 cm)