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Artist: Utagawa Toyokuni I (初代歌川豊国)

Print: Bandō Mitsugorō III (坂東三津五郎) as 手妻江戸蔵 - performing the linking rings as 金は打

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Dates: 1818,created
Dimensions: 10.0 in,15.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: woodblock print
Inscription:

Signed: Toyokuni ga (豊国画)
Publisher: Matsumura Tatsuemon
(Marks 311 - seal 02-040)
Censor's seal: kiwame

Related links: Waseda University; Waseda University - a different image by Yamamotoya Heikichi of this actor in this role; Indianapolis Museum of Art - a Kunisada print of Sawamura Gennosuke from Chūshingura, Act 8, Jōruri;

Physical description:

This print represents a performance of Banzui Chōbei shōjin manaita (幡随長兵衛精進爼板 - 'Banzui Chōbei's Vegetarian Chopping Block') by Sakurada Jisuke I at Nakamura Theater in 1818. It was first performed at the Nakamura-za in Edo in August,1803. Banzui was an otokodate.

Waseda University has 7 different prints by Toyokuni I, including this one, from this particular performance.

As of August 2014 we have yet to resolve the relevance of this figure with the rings with the play mentioned above.

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Above is a link to a Kunisada print of a fellow with rings in the Indianapolis Museum of Art. They link theirs to the Chūshingura - clearly noted in kanji at the top right, but as yet we don't know why. Perhaps this is a standard

jōruri interlude between acts. The costuming is basically the same, but theirs has a landscape background, unlike the one here in the Lyon Collection.