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Sadanobu (貞信)

Nakamura Tomijûrô II as Menoto Shigenoi in Koi nyôbô somewake tazuna, Naka Theater, Osaka; Series: Kyôfuku tôsei kurabe
Hasegawa Sadanobu ga
No artist seal
Naniwa [Osaka] Kinkadô Konishi
(H x W)
Ôban ôkubi-e nishiki-e
37.0 x 25.0 cm
Excellent (deluxe edition with metallics)
Very good overall condition (metallics, mica and embossing, unbacked; a few vertical creases along chain lines at top and bottom, repaired binding holes along left edge, tiny filled holes and light soiling mostly along edges but also faintly on face, oxidized mica across text at top)
Price (USD/¥):
$975 / Contact us to pay in yen (¥)

Order/Inquiry: (Ref #SDN17)


Koi nyôbô somewake tazuna (The Loving Wife's Particolored Reins: 恋女房染分手綱) was written in 1751 by the puppet master Yoshida Bunzaburô under the pen name Yoshida Kanshi. It was a revision of Chikamatsu Monzaemon's Tanba yosaku matsuyo no komuro bushi (1708), which it follows, more or less, while adding a subplot involving the Yurugi daimyô. As such, it is a adauchi-mono (vendetta play: 仇打ち物) in the style of jidaimono (history play, lit., "period piece": 時代物) adapted from Chikamatsu's sewamono (domestic drama, lit. "everyday piece": 世話物).

Shigenoi is a lady-in-waiting at the Yurugi estate who is having an affair with Date Yosaku, a retainer to Saemon Yurugi, daimyô of Tanba. Yurugi givs him 300 ryô to ransom Iroha, a geisha in Gion, but the money is stolen by another retainer named Sagizuka Kandayû. (In the original Chikamatsu's version, Yosaku is a profigate who gambles away the money.) Shigenoi and Yosaku have had a child together, and their illicit relationship threatens to end in her exile or death until her father, a actor, performs Dôjôji in which he commits seppuku (ritual suicide) to atone for his daughters crime. Yurugi is moved by the performance and allows Shigenoi to remain as wet nurse to his infant daughter Shirabe-hime, although she is separated from her son and Yosaku is banished. He is then compelled to earn a living as a pack-horse driver. The play continues well into later years when Iroha (who changes her name to Seki no Koman [Koman from Seki]) falls in love with Yosaku, who is given 300 ryô by his brother-in-law (a blind masseur named Keimasa) and, by chance, is reunited with his son, called Jinejo no Sankichi, also a pack-horse driver. Much later, Yosaku and Sankichi (by then called Yonosuke) defeat villains who had slain Keimasa and, finally, Yosaku is welcomed back into the Yurgi household, where he lives with Shigenoi as his wife and Koman as his mistress.


The series title, Kyôfuku tôsei kurabe ("A Comparison of Contemporary Mirror Covers": 鏡覆当世競) is inscribed below the roundel or mirror; it appears on at least three other prints from the set for performances spanning 8/1840 to 9/1841. The poems on all four known examples are signed "Hiiki" ("patron" or "supporter") with different Japanese characters on each print.

References: HSH, no. 91; OK, no. 104; NKE, p. 341