Kodomo asobi odori zukushi (A Collection of Child's Play Dances: 子供遊おどりずくし) served as a vehicle for Rikaku II to display his versatility in dance. Among the roles pictured here is Sasara Sanpachi, a shishi-mai (lion dancer) wearing a red wig and a peony (botan) hat while performing in a felicitous New Year's play called Uwa uwa shiki no ohi zamoto (春興惠方曙). (Hirosada designed another portrait of Rikaku II in this role, but in the smaller chûban format.) Shishimai (lion dances: 獅子舞) have antecedents of Chinese origin that were first introduced into Japan around the sixth - seventh centuries. Later folk dances also contributed to the development of shishimai, as well as traditional lion dances given by street performers at the New Year. Aspects of all these shishimai found expression in the Nô play Shakkyô ("Stone bridge": 石橋) and its adaptation for the kabuki stage.
This design, known by only a few impressions, is one of the particularly rare ôban prints produced by Hirosada.
Okada (a celebrated private Japanese collection not seen in public for more than 70 years until its recent dispersal — a blockbuster event in the world of kamigata-e; see KAM in Bibliography).
References: IKBYS-4, no. 57.