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Prints of Danjuro VII 1847-1859

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Kunisada Image

Dainagon Yorimoto, Kiichi Hogen (Dainagon Yorimoto, Kiichi Hogen)

11/1852

Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam with the aid of the MGC Purchase Grant Fund and the National Art Collections Fund. Portrait of Ichikawa Ebizo V (formerly Danjuro  VII) as Dainagon Yorimoto, juxtaposed with a poem by Kiichi Hogen, from the series Mitate sanju-rokkasen no uchi (Comparisons with the Thirty-six Immortals of Poetry).

Published by Iseya Kanekichi. After the success of the similar series with views of the Tokaido published in early 1852, Kunisada designed several other sets with landscape backgrounds. Dainagon Yorimoto was one of the thirty-six ‘Immortal’ poets first selected and listed by the 11th-century poet and critic, Fujiwara no Kinto.

The military strategist Kiichi Hogen was the subject of a number of plays, which centred on the attempts of the Genji and Taira clans to gain control over the three-volume scroll-book (sanryaku no maki) that he had written on military tactics.

The remarkable hair and beard are depicted entirely by embossing the paper with a carved block (karazuri) there is no ink involved. Nikawa (animal glue) was applied with a brush to the eyes.

Collections Record: P.69-1999

Kunisada Image

Honcho jimbutsu shi (Historical Personages of Our Land)

Kunisada 35

c. 1847

Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam with the aid of the MGC Purchase Grant Fund and the National Art Collections Fund

A print comprising bust portraits of six leading actors:

Nakamura Utaemon IV (top left); Seki Sanjuro III (top right);               

Bando Shuka I (center left); Ichimura Uzaemon XII (centre right);

Fujikawa Kayu (bottom left); Ichikawa Ebizo V (bottom right).

The portraits were mostly derived from full-sized oban (full-sheet) prints that Kunisada had designed some years earlier.

Collections Record: P.58-1999

Kunisada Image

Utagawa KUNISADA II (1823-80) Kakutaro ga chichi Akaiwa Ikkaku (Akaiwa Ikkaku, father of Kakutaro)

10/1852

Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam with the aid of the MGC Purchase Grant Fund and the National Art Collections Fund.

Retrospective portrait of Ichikawa Hakuen (Danjuro  VII) as Akaiwa Ikkaku, from the series Hakkenden inu no soshi no uchi (Tale of the Eight Dogs). Another print from the series is displayed alongside.

The story comes from Takizawa Baikin’s quasi-historical novel, Nanso Satomi Hakkenden (Biography of the Eight Dogs), issued over many years (1814-22, 1827-33, 1835-42) with illustrations by several artists including Kunisada. The novel tells the story of nine generations of the fictional Satomi clan, and of eight samurai, each of whom represents a different samurai virtue and has the word for ‘dog’ (inu) as part of his name. The story was adapted for Kabuki for the first time in 1834, with numerous subsequent versions, including Sakurada Jisuke III’s Satomi Hakkenden, produced in 1852, when this series was issued. A month later Kunisada issued a print of one of the eight samurai in his series Kiso rokuju-kyu tsugi (Sixty-nine Kiso Stations).

Collections Record: P.67-1999

Learn more about the prints of Danjuro VII

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Organised for Japan 2001

The Fitzwilliam Museum is especially grateful to John Carpenter, Tim Clark, Paul M. Griffith, Hideyuki Iwata and Ellis Tinios for their generous help during the preparation of this exhibition.

Funded by Japan 2001