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Actor: Nakamura Matsue III (三代目中村松江)

Alternate names:
Keishi (poetry name - 慶子)
Sankō (poetry name - 三光)
Ichikawa Kumatarō (市川熊太郎)
Nakamura Sankō I (初代中村三光)
Nakamura Tomijūrō II (二代目中村富十郎)

Lifetime: 1786 - 1855

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Ashiyuki diptych where the mon appears partially on Matsue III's fan; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Asahisa diptych with the crossed scrolls crest on Matsue III's obi; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Shibakuni print where Matsue's crest appears on the robe of the servant; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Ashiyuki print where the mon appears at the bottom of the kimono; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Shigeharu diptych where the crest appears on Matsue's fan again;

Biography:

This actor held this name from 11/1813 to 10/1821, 11/1823 to 12/1823 and finally spring 1825 to 12/1832. There are 6 prints in the Lyon Collection from when this actor appeared on stage as Matsue III and 4 while he held the name Tomijūrō II. His adopted son was Nakamura Daikichi III (1815-57).

Born in Osaka, his first master was Ichikawa Jinnosuke, who gave him the name of Ichikawa Kumatarō and let him play in his troupe of children actors (Kodomo Shiba). Jinnosuke died in the 7th month of 1808. Matsue III took a new master, Nakamura Utaemon III, in 1812 and in the 11th month he took a new name, Nakamura Sankō I.

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Sometimes Matsue's mon or crest is displayed on his robes during performances. Often it is not. However, it appears often enough that we can show you several examples at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston through links seen above. That mon is a pair of crossed scrolls seen in a diamond or lozenge pattern. Utaemon III also used this crest on occasion. Although there are sources that say it represented a secret Christian cult - because the scrolls for a cross - we remain somewhat skeptical of this suggestion.