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Kunihiro (國廣)

Description:
Sawamura Kunitarô II as [Koheiji nyôbô Onami [Koheiji's wife Onami: 小平寺次女房おなみ] in Yamato kotoba suikoden at the Naka no Shibai, Osaka
Signature:
Kunihiro ga
Seals:
Artist seal: None
Publisher:
Tenki (Tenmaya Kihei: 天満屋喜兵衞) and Iden (Itsuya Denbei)
Date:
7/1822
Format:
(H x W)
Ôban nishiki-e
37.7 x 25.7 cm
Impression:
Excellent
Condition:
Excellent color, good condition, embossing; very thinly backed, repaired paper damage lower left and thin spot to right of Kunitaro's name, tiny filled wormhole in upper edge of moon, two paper flaws at upper left
Price (USD/¥):
$430 / Contact us to pay in yen (¥)

Order/Inquiry: (KUH32)

Comments:
Background

Yamato kotoba suikoden (A Japanese reading of the tales of the water margin: 和訓水滸伝) was a kabuki adaptation by Iso Isosuke at the Kado no Shibai, Osaka, in 7/1776, of Chikamatsu Monzaemon's 11/1718 ningyô jôruri sewamono (domestic puppet play: 淨瑠璃世話物) premiering at the Takemoto no Shibai, Osaka, as Hakata Kojorô nami makura (The girl from Hakata, or love at sea: 博多小女郎浪枕), which in turn was adapted for kabuki as Koi minato hakata no hitouchi (恋湊博多諷).

Hakata Kojorô nami makura is often called simply "Kezori," the story of the pirate Kezori Kuemon. It is based on a real-life incident involving a gang of seven smugglers who were caught in Nagasaki. Their punishment was exile, but only after their noses were cut off and they were put in stocks for three days on the Kôrai Bridge in Ôsaka in 10/1718. Chikamatsu's play was staged the next month. The main plot involves Kezori's smuggling intrigues, an attempt by the Kyoto merchant Komachiya Soshichi to ransom the Hakata courtesan Kojorô, and Soshichi's colluding with Kezori in the trade of contraband goods, which he agrees to do, under threat of death, in exchange for Kezori ransoming Kojorô for him. In the end, Soshichi is caught and commits suicide, while Kezori and his gang of thugs are sentenced to exile. Only Kojorô is found innocent.

References: IKBYS-II, no. 20; NKE, p. 144; see also Donald Keene, Major Plays of Chikamatsu (New York: Columbia University Press, 1961, pp. 351-386)