Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) / Toyokuni III (三代豊国)

Print: Iwai Kumesaburō II (岩井粂三郎) as the courtesan Takao (高尾) and Segawa Kikunojō V (瀬川菊之丞) as the daimyō Yorikane (頼兼)

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Dates: 1827,created
Dimensions: 20.25 in,14.625 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Gototei Kunisada ga
Publisher: Nishinomiya Shinroku
(Marks 392 - seal 25-341)
Censor's seal: kiwame

Related links: British Museum - right panel only; Minneapolis Institute of Arts - left panel only; Waseda University - center panel of the triptych; Waseda University - missing panel on far left; Ritsumeikan University - missing panel on far left; Ritsumeikan University - middle panel; Ristumeikan University - right panel; Art Institute of Chicago - 1827 Kunisada fan print of Iwai Kumesaburō II of Takao;

Physical description:

These prints commemorate a performance of the play Banzei Okuni kabuki (萬歳阿国歌舞伎) by Sakurada Jisuke II which was staged at the Ichimuraza in the 4th month of 1827.

complete triptych in Ritsumeikan


Takao can often be identified by her kimono decorated with autumn leaves, but they don't appear here. However, as you can see from the attached image or if you click on the Waseda University link above of the missing left-hand panel completing this triptych you will see her robe draped over a kimono stand.


The Takao/Yorikane plays were actually loosely based on true historical events "...related to the succession disputes within the Date clan in Sendai in the 1660s. The legitimacy of the daimyo Date Tsunamune and his heirs was challenged when it was disclosed that Tsunamune was enamored of the famous courtesan Takao II of the Great Miura bordello (the legend that inspired the kabuki play was a colorful mix of fact and fiction)."

Quoted from: "Wild Boars and Dirty Rats: Kyōka Surimono Celebrating Ichikawa Danjūrō VII as Arajishi Otokonosuke" by John T. Carpenter, Impressions, no. 28, 2006-2007, p. 47.