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Archive: Ashiyuki (芦幸)

Arashi Rikan II (二代目嵐璃寛) as Kizu Kansuke (木津勘助) and the child actor Arashi Kannosuke I (一代目(嵐寛ノ助) as Yonenoshina(?) in Sao no uta Kizugawa hakkei, Kado no Shibai, Osaka
Gigadô Ashiyuki ga
No artist Seal
(H x W)
Ôban nishiki-e
37.6 x 25.5 cm
Very good color and condition, unbacked; minor paper flaws lower left near publisher mark, slight pooling of blue ink on Rikan's kimono; uneven inking on mat above Rikan's head
Price (USD/¥):

Sao no uta Kizugawa hakkei (Song of the boat pole: Eight views of the Kizu River: 棹歌木津川八景), written by the Osaka-born playwright Namiki Gohei I (1747-1808), premiered in 7/1778 when he was already a leading Osaka dramaturge. Gohei also worked in Edo starting in 1794, where he commanded a large annual salary of 300 ryô (gold coin: 両). He introduced various theatrical techniques and interpretations from Kamigata (Kyoto-Osaka) into Edo plays, in those instances modifying standard Edo performance style. It appears that the plot of Sao no uta Kizugawa hakkei remains unknown to present-day scholars.


Rikan holds a straw mat protectively around himself and the young child. An inrô (lit., "seal basket": 印籠) hangs from his obi (sash: 帯). Arashi Rikan II (二代目嵐璃寛) was, of course, a superstar actor, but Arashi Kannosuke I (一代目(嵐寛ノ助), here a young child actor, was a minor performer about whom very little is known. He is recorded as being the son of the popular supporting actor Arashi Izaburô II (later called Arashi Kanjûrô I and Bandô Mankichi I, 1774-1846), who performed in Kamigata until relocating to Edo in 1820.

This ôban design by Ashiyuki is apparently unrecorded and is therefore quite rare. There is a close copy in small format (koban) signed by Shunpu (春婦), that is, the artist Shunpusai Hokumyô (春婦齋北妙) for the same kabuki production.

References: KNP-6, p. 214