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Archive: Sadanobu (貞信)

Nakamura Shikan II (中村芝翫) as Hamada Oribe (浜名織部) jitsu wa (actually, 実ハ) Kosakabe Yasaburô (小坂部弥三郎) in Momochidori Naruto no shiranami (A flock of plovers and the white waves of the whirlpool , 百千鳥鳴門白浪), Naka Theater, Osaka
Hasegawa Sadanobu (長谷川貞信)
No artist seal
Tenki (Tenmaya Kihei (天満屋喜兵衞)
(H x W)
ôban nishiki-e
37.4 x 25.4 cm
Excellent color, unbacked; filled album binding holes along the right edge
Price (USD/¥):

Inquiry: SDN52


Momochidori Naruto no shiranami (A flock of plovers and the white waves of the whirlpool, 百千鳥鳴門白浪) was written by Nagawa Tokusuke I (初代 奈河篤助 1764-1842) and Chikamatsu Tokuzô (近松徳三 1751-1810). The plot remains unknown to us. The listing in Kabuki nenpyô (Chronology of kabuki, see KNP ref. below) and print designs for other stagings identify various roles, including Hamana Oribe (浜名織部), Hagizuka Narutonosuke (萩塚鳴戸之助), Ogata Rikimaru (尾形秀丸), Fukushima Saemon (福島左衛門), Hakata no Shimano (博多ノ島蔵), Irumaya Kijûrô (入間屋喜十郎), Bantô (head clerk) Hikoshichi (番頭彦七), and Osan (おさん); see ASY04 for an 1825 staging of the same play.


Kosakabe Yasaburô (小坂部弥三郎) carries a huge chest strapped to his back as he pauses and looks off to his left. Behind him are ten men holding aloft preposterously large oblong-shaped coins, each inscribed with "kin-senryô" (thousand gold coin, 金千両). Beginning in the Kamakura period (1185–1333), the ryô (両) was a unit of gold currency in Japan until it was abolished in June 1871.

This is one of those uncommon designs featuring a strong contrast between the ukiyo-e-style printing of the main actor set against a softer Shijô-style (and somewhat humorous) rendering of secondary figures. All told, it is a dramatic scene.

References: HSH, no. 45; KNP-VI,, p. 388; British Museum (playbill; 1916,0403,0.84)