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Shibakuni (芝國) and Tamikuni (多美國)

(R) Nakamura Utaemon III as Kitabatake Kazusa no Kami; (L) Ichikawa Ebijûrô I as Wada Raipachi in Appare keisei makura no tôriya at the Kado no Shibai, Osaka
Shibakuni ga (芝国画) and Tamikuni ga (多実國)
No artist seal
Toshikin (Toshikuraya Shinbei: 利倉屋新兵衛)
(H x W)
Ôban nishiki-e
38.7 x 52.7 cm
Very good
Very good color and good condition, unbacked; a few thinned spots, two small backed wormholes at edge, slightly trimmed, rubbing, stray spots, crease (paper flaw) to left of Utaemon's face
Price (USD/¥):
$590 / Contact us to pay in yen (¥)

Order/Inquiry: SHB07


The play Appare keisei makura no tôriya (遖傾成花大矢数) was written by the heralded actor Nakamura Utaemon III (shown here on the right sheet), who revised an earlier drama by Namiki Gohei (1747-1808), an important Osaka-born playwright. The story involves an attempt to overthrow a master archer named Koshino Kanzaemon, more than one murder, romantic entanglements, an archery contest, and a lost heirloom arrow.


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.

References: IBKYS-II, no. 88