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Umekuni (梅國)

Nakamura Tsurusuke I (一代目中村鶴助) as Fujiya Izaemon in Naniwa bunshô yûgiri tsuka, Onishi no Shibai, Osaka
Umekuni ga (梅國画)
No Artist Seals
Honsei (本清 = Honya Seishichi 本屋清七) and Kichi (吉 = 未詳)
(H x W)
Oban nishiki-e
37.7 x 26.5 cm
Very good
Very good color and condition (unbacked; traces of creases along right edge from having been accordioned in an album, light creases below hedge hat, thin patch on verso.
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Inquiry UMK02


Naniwa bunshô yûgiri tsuka (Yûgiri and the Osaka love letter: 浪花文章夕霧塚) was one of many Yûgiri-mono (plays about Yûgiri: 夕霧物). It premiered in 1751 as a sewamono (lit., "everyday piece" or domestic drama: 世話物) adapted from Chikamatsu Monzaemon's (1653-1725) puppet play Yûgiri Awa no Naruto (Yûgiri and the whirlpools of Awa: 夕霧阿波鳴渡) of 1712, the first of the so-called Awa no Naruto mono (plays about Awa no Naruto: 粟の鳴門物). These dramas were all inspired by the death of Yûgiri (夕霧 1654-1678), a celebrated pleasure-woman of the Ôgiya (扇屋) in Shinmachi, Osaka. Fujiya Izaemon (ふじや[藤屋]伊左衛門) was her wealthy young lover. Chikamatsu first dramatized their tale in his Yûgiri nagori no shôgatsu (Farewell to Yûgiri at the New Year: 夕霧名残の正月) in 1678, a month after her actual death.


Fujiya Izaemon stands before a split noren (lit., "woven blind" or curtain: 暖簾). The right half is inscribed こんたん御まくら所 (Kontan omakura dokoro) and the left 大西芝居仕掛大道具場 (Onishi shibai shikake odogujyo), referring to an area hidden behind the stage at the Onishi Theater.).

References: KNZ, no. 249; NKE, pp. 370