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Archive: Sadahiro (貞廣)

Nakamura Utajûrô (中村歌十郎) as Chishima Tsukanosuke in Keisei Satsumagushi (A pledge of affection and a wife's comb: 契情狭妻櫛) Kado Theater, Osaka
Gorakutei Sadahiro ga (五樂亭貞廣画)
No artist seal
Tenki (Tenmaya Kihei: 天満屋喜兵衞)
(H x W)

Ôban nishiki-e
37.0 x 24.3 cm

Excellent deluxe edition with heavy furikake (lit., "sprinkling" or powdered metallics: 振掛)
Excellent color and overall condition (unbacked; paper flaw vertical crease to left of Utajuro’s head, some slight paper buckling)
Price (USD/¥):

Inquiry: (SDH09)


The plot of the play Keisei satsumagushi (A pledge of affection and a wife's comb: 契情狭妻櫛) is unknown to us. The Japanese title is sometimes given as けいせい狭妻櫛, which might suggest the "pledge of affection" in the play title involves a courtesan (けいせい, keisei) and her lover.


By the late 1830s the influence of the Edo landscape master Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) had already spread to Kamigata. Thus we see in this example by Sadahiro I a background landscape rendered in the Hiroshige manner. (Sadahiro's connection with Edo is known, as he studied with Kunisada in 1828, designed books in Edo in the 1830s, and issued occasional landscape prints in the manner of Hiroshige.) The actor Utajûrô holds a yellow sugegasa (sedge hat: 菅笠) as he makes his way along a road at sunset, with red striated clouds low on the horizon.

This is the same impression as illustrated in OSP (by Dean Schwaab; see below), formerly in the Haber collection, New York. As is usual for prints once owned by Haber, the colors are beautifully preserved and the printing is excellent, with extensive faux gold (copper-rich brass) on Utajûrô's robe.

For another scene from this kabuki production, see THD07.

References: OSP, p. 191, no. 196; KNP-6, p. 430; IKB-I,p. 45, no. 1-520