fan crest   title
Home •  Recent Update •  Sales Gallery •  Archives
Articles •  Varia •  Glossary •  Biographies •  Bibliography
Search •  Video •  Contact Us •  Conditions of Sale •  Links

Archive: Enjaku (猿雀)

Ôtani Tomomatsu I as Nakano Tôbei in Hana-shôbu kameyama jikki, Chikugo no Shibai, Osaka
Enjaku (main design); kono [painted by] Kunikazu (inset)
No artist or seals
Uchitora (Uchida Torazô), partly trimmed at lower left margin
(H x W)
Chûban nishiki-e
24.3 x 17.8 cm
Excellent color, shomenzuri, unbacked; light-blue ink (printer's smudge) on right arm
Price (USD/¥):
: EJK03 

The plot of the kabuki play Hana shôbu Kameyama jikki (A true record of the iris flower at Mt. Kame: 花菖蒲亀山實記) is unknown to us; however, it appears to be one of the so-called Kameyama no adauchi mono (Kameyama revenge plays: 亀山の仇打物). These dramas were based on an actual event in 1701 when two brothers from the Date clan, Ishii Tomozô and Ishii Genzô, avenged their father's death at the hands of Akabori Mizuemon. Sometimes called the Genroku Soga (Soga of the Genroku period: 元禄曾我), as it was reminiscent of the celebrated revenge tale Soga monogatari (Tales of the Soga: 曾我物語). The Kameyama revenge took twenty-eight years to reach its conclusion, with the denouement taking place in the Date's castle at Kameyama. The first theatrical production appears to be Dôchû hyôban katakiuchi in 1702 for the Osaka puppet theater (possibly written by Chikamatsu Monzaemon, 近松門左衛門), while kabuki first staged a production in 1728 with Seishû Kameyama katakiuchi (Revenge at Mt. Kame in Ise Province: 勢州亀山敵討) in Osaka. Edo was rather late in presenting its version: Kameyama katakiuchi (Revenge at Mt. Kame: 亀山敵討) in 1752.


There are six known designs by Enjaku with a red-and-white checkerboard pattern in the background, all from the year 1864.

Enjaku's (猿雀 active 1856-66) prints survive in very small numbers and are difficult to obtain. Although nothing is known about his biography, he is arguably the most important transitional artist entering the last phase of printmaking in Osaka. He specialized in deluxe editions of ôkubi-e (large-head pictures: 大首絵) in chûban format; a high percentage of these survive in very small numbers, some in only a single impression.

For more about this artist, see Enjaku Biography.

References: EOM, no. E1.70; NKE, p. 265