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Hokuei (北英)


Arashi Rikan II (嵐璃寛) as Ningyoya Kōemon (人形屋幸右衛門) in Ehon Tengajayamura (Picture book of the gathering at Tengajaya: 絵本殿下茶屋聚), Naka Theater, Osaka

Shunkōsai Hokuei ga (春江齋北英画)
No artist seal
Honsei (本清)
(H x W)
Ôban nishiki-e
36.5 x 25.0 cm
Excellent color, unbacked; slight trimming top and bottom, small stray green-pigment mark
Price (USD/¥):
$790 / Contact us to pay in yen (¥)

Order/Inquiry: HKE95


Ehon tengachayamura (Picture book of the gathering at Tengajaya: 絵本殿下茶屋聚) is a dramatization of the actual events. Adapted from Katakiuchi Tengajayamura (Revenge at Tengajayamura: 敵討殿下茶屋聚) at the Kado no Shibai, Osaka in 1781, a popular revenge play (adauchi mono: 仇打ち物) and jidaimono ("period piece" or history play: 時代物) in Osaka, the plots of both plays were based on events from 1609 when the samurai Hayashi Genzaburô (renamed Hayase Genjirô for censorship reasons) took revenge upon Tôma Saburôemon, the murderer of his father (renamed Hayase Genba) and elder brother (Hayase Iori) at Tengajaya (Dengachaya) village near Osaka. The play is sometimes read as Ehon Dengachaya mura.

Hayase Genba, a retainer for the Ukita clan and father of Genjirô and his brother Iori, has been killed by Tôma, a skilled swordsman. The brothers begin to track down Tôma, but they encounter obstacles complicated by their search for an heirloom painting (in other adaptations, it is a poem card). They are betrayed by their servant Adachi Genemon (also read as Motoemon), who steals money (raised by Iori's wife, Somenoi, who sells herself to a brothel to buy the painting) and a sword from Genjirô, which he uses to kill another Hayase servant and injure Iori. Later, Genemon joins up with Tôma and his servant Udesuke. Then, in the woods near the Fukushima Tenjin Shrine, they attack Iori, who despite his wounds, summons the strength to slash Tôma on the arm. In the end, however, he is slain by Genemon and Udesuke. Upon finding his brother's body, the grief-stricken Genjirô must be stopped from drowning himself. Help finally arrives in the person of Ningyôya Kôuemon, once in the service of Hayase Genba. He secures the painting and buys out Somenoi's brothel contract, whereupon he, Somenoi, Genjirô, and Hazue (Genjirô' wife) all journey to the Dengachaya. They first obtain permission from the local authorities to act upon their vendetta, and then murder Tôma and Genemon.


Having removed and tossed aside his amigasa (sedge hat, 編笠), Rikan II stands front and center while holding an impressively large tejû (hand-cannon or hand-gun, 手銃 Chinese: shŏuchòng, or 火銃 huŏchòng). In the distance can be seen the walls, watch towers, storehouses, and main keep of a castle.

The colors of this impression are especially well preserved.

References: IBKYS-II, no. 294; KNP-6, p. 250; IKB-I, no. 2-426; KNP-6 (p. 254); PRG (#868)