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

Hirosada (廣貞)

Mimasu Daigorô IV as Issun Tokubei in Natsu matsuri Naniwa kagami, Naka Theater, Osaka
No artist seal
No publisher seal
(H x W)
Chûban nishiki-e
25.7 x 19.2 cm
Excellent, deluxe edition with metallics
Excellent color and condition (never backed, thick paper)
Price (USD/¥):

Inquiry: HSD42


Natsu matsuri Naniwa kagami (Mirror of the Osaka summer festival: 夏祭浪花鑑) was originally a nine-act sewamono (domestic or everyday drama: 世話物) staged for ningyô jôruri (puppet theater: 人形淨瑠璃) in 1745. Danshichi, a fishmonger and otokodate ("upright man" or chivalrous commoner: 男伊達 or 男作) was imprisoned for wounding a retainer of Ôshima Sagaemon (an enemy of Danshichi's ally, Tamashima Hyôdayû). Danshichi is paroled on the condition that he foreswear violence, so any breach of this agreement, however minor, will land him back in prison. Immediately after his release, he stops at the home of his friend Tsuribune no Sabu to wash and change clothes before seeing his wife. While there, Danshichi is attacked by the samurai Issun Tokubei who is allied with an enemy of the Tamashima clan. Sabu intercedes to prevent Danshichi's risking a return to prison by seizing a folding screen and holding it up between the two adversaries. Before the fight is resolved, Danshichi's wife, Okaji, arrives and is upset to discover that her husband, even before reaching home to rejoin his family, has fallen prey to violence again. Not long after, in a reversal of alliance, Tokubei befriends Danshichi and they pledge to protect the Tamashima clan.


This is the left sheet of a triptych, with the other sheets showing (R) Nakamura Utaemon IV as Danshichi Kurobei and (M) Jitsukawa Ensaburô I as Tsuribune no Sabu. The close-up okubi-e (large-head pictures: 大首絵) of the triptych are based on the same scene and production for a tetraptych design by Hirosada with full-length figures.

This is a finely printed example with exceptionally large margins at the top and left, featuring metallics added to the tsuba (sword-guard: 鍔 or 鐔) and the blade of the katana (long sword: 刀), more specifically, the decorative hamon (lit., "blade pattern": 刃文) forming the transitional zone between the harder but more brittle ha (tempered cutting edge: ) and the softer but more resilient mune (back edge: ).

References: IKBYS-IV, no. 288; HOP, no. 36; NKE, p. 462