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Kunihiro (國廣) & Sadahiro (貞廣)

(R) Kataoka Ichizô I; (C) Iwai Shijaku I as Shiori; (L) Arashi Rikan II as Geramatsu Sajima in Keisei hanabusa zôshi at the Naka no Shibai, Osaka
(R) Ganjôsai Kunihiro ga (丸丈斎國廣); (C & L) Utagawa Sadahiro ga (歌川貞廣)
No artist seals
Tenki (Tenmaya Kihei: 天満屋喜兵衞)
(H x W)
Oban nishiki-e
37.8 x 77.4 cm
Very good color and good condition, unbacked; repaired binding holes, some stains at lower edges and rubbing, small repaired wormhole C sheet
Price (USD/¥):
$990 / Contact us to pay in yen (¥)

Order/Inquiry (Ref #KUH37)


The plot of Keisei hanabusa zôshi (Courtesan: A storybook blossom: けいせい英草紙 also けいせい英双紙) is so far unknown to us. This particular production was featured as a drama for the New Year.


This is a collaborative print (gassaku: 合作) or collective work for which more than one artist is responsible for the design. Gassaku are uncommon, especially from the earlier period of Osaka printmaking. In Kamigata (Osaka-Kyoto region), gassaku were typically of two types: (1) a shared work by a master and his students, and (2) a collaboration among artists of equal status, as in our example.

This scene is emblematic of kabuki's tachimawari (lit., "standing and going around," i.e., choreographed fight scenes: 立回り). Using a long pole to fend off the actor Ichizô while also subduing an unnamed walk-on actor partly visible under Shijaku's robes, the onnagata (lit., "woman's manner," i.e., male actors in female roles: 女方 or 女形) displays his skill in performing stylized and synchronized (dance-like) movements in a stage fight.

References: IKBYS-III, no. 92 (2 sheets only)