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Archive: Sadamasu 貞升 (later Kunimasu 國升)

Description:
Onoe Baikô III (三代目尾上梅幸, previous stage name of Onoe Kikugorô III, 三代目尾上菊五郎) as geiko (geisha) Kasane in Kasane ôgi hagi no datezome at the Kado no Shibai, Osaka
Signature:
Sadamasu ga (貞升画)
Seals:
No artist seal
Publisher:
No publisher seal
Date:
5/1841
Format:
(H x W)
Deluxe chûban nishiki-e
25.3 x 18.0 cm
Impression:
Excellent deluxe impression with furikake (sprinkling with metallics: 振掛) and karazuri ("empty printing" or embossing: 空摺)
Condition:
Excellent color and very good condition (backed, three filled pinhole-size wormholes, two light scratches on forearm)
Price (USD/¥):
SOLD

/Inquiry: KMS25

Comments:
Background

Kasane ôgi hagi no datezome (translated roughly as "Kasane's fan and bushclover in dyed Date colors": 重扇萩の伊達染) was one of various Kasane mono ("Plays about Kasane"), all sharing a theme of murder and karma involving a woman named Kasane. Extremely jealous, she drove her husband Yoemon to slay her by the Kinu River in Hanyû. Her unappeased spirit haunted her family until Saint Yûten intervened and Kasane found salvation. Various adaptations in the puppet and kabuki theaters included Kasane's ghost taking possession of other characters and intertwining the ghost tale with events surrounding disputes within the Date clan of Sendai in Oshû. The latter falls within yet another grouping of plays called Date sôdô mono ("Plays about the Date troubles").

Onoe Kikugorô III (三代目尾上菊五郎 1784-4/1849) was one of the greatest kaneru yakusha (all-around actors: 兼ねる役者) in kabuki history. His stage rivalry with Ichikawa Danjûrô VII (1791-1859) pitched the fans of both actors into spirited competitions, each coterie claiming that its hero was the greatest actor of his generation. Kikugorô's alliance with the playwright Tsuruya Nanboku IV (1755-1829) resulted in the best known of kabuki's kaidan mono (ghost plays: 怪談物), when in 7/1825 Kikugorô premiered the role of Oiwa in Tôkaidô Yotsuya kaidan (Tôkaidô ghost story at Yotsuya: 東海道四谷怪談).

Kikugorô is identified on Sadamasu's print as Onoe Baikô (三代目尾上梅幸), the actor's haigô (literary or poetry name: 俳号) and an early stage name, 11/1814-11/1815. He took the name Ôgawa Hashizô I (一代目大川橋蔵) in 4/1848; a year later he fell ill while travelling on the Tôkaidô road and died at Kakegawa station on the 24th day of 4/1849.

Design

This appears to be a sheet from a set or series. It is printed with the finest colorants and includes furikake (sprinkling with metallics: 振掛) and karazuri ("empty printing" or embossing: 空摺) on the actor's white collar.

References: IKBYS-III, no. 139; HKE, pp. 171, 232, 465, 670