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Hokushû (北洲)

(R) Arashi Tomisaburô II as Chirigiriya's daughter and (L) Ichikawa Ebijûrô I as Yamagataya Gihei in the play Keisei somewake tazuna, Naka Theater, Osaka
Shunkôsai Hokushû ga
No artist seal
Honya Seishichi (two seals: Honsei: 本清 and Oki, 置, the second apparently an imprint of the same publisher, from the family name, Tamaoki Seishichi, 玉置清七)
(H x W)
Ôban diptych nishiki-e
38.3 x 52.7 cm
Excellent color, good condition (unbacked; expertly repaired fold lines near top of both sheets and left edge of right sheet; several small repaired insect holes; narrow thinned area along lower left margin of right sheet)
Price (USD/¥):
$480 / Contact us to pay in yen (¥)

Order/Inquiry HKS41


The play Keisei somewake tazuna (A courtesan's reins dyed in different colors: けいせい染分總), written by Nagawa Harusuke and the superstar actor Nakamura Utaemon III (under his pen name Kanazawa Ryûgyoko), premiered in 1/1822. It was adapted, as were quite a number of other plays, from Koi nyôbô somewake tazuna (Love and a wife's reins dyed in different colors: 恋女房染分手綱) first staged in 1751. The earlier play was itself a revision of Chikamatsu Monzaemon's Tanba yosaku matsuyo no komuro bushi. It has been reported that the accomplished dramatist Harusuke became so enraged at what he believed to be a poorly constructed play that he attacked his co-writer Utaemon with a knife!

The story involves a shop owner and his older brother who stop conspirators from stealing the treasures of the Yurugi daimyô family, and features Sankichi, a tabakokiri (tobacco cutter: 煙草切), who emerges as the hero of the drama.


An emotional scene finely executed and with very well-preserved colors.