Artist: Utagawa Yoshitaki (歌川芳滝)

Print: Nakamura Komanosuke V (中村駒之助) as Kainosuke (甲斐之助) on the right and Nakamura Jakuemon I (中村雀右衛門) as Komakine Hachirō (駒木根八郎) to his left, in Irokurabe Aki no Nanakusa (色競秋七草)

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Dates: 1867,created
Dimensions: 9.75 in,13.875 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Yoshitaki (芳瀧)

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - an 1873, Meiji, reprint of this diptych with changes; Hankyu Culture Foundation - right panel; Hankyu Culture Foundation - left panel; Lyon Collection - a later 1873 version of this diptych;

Physical description:

This diptych commemorates a performance of at the Naka Theater in the eighth month of 1867. Look closely at the bulge in the blue cloth behind the figure of Komakine Hachirō. You will see that this is caused by a stagehand all dressed in black. His feet which are visible is a dead giveaway. Hachirō is standing on the edge of the hanamichi, where it meets the stage. In the lower left you will see a bracket to hold a torch or lamp for lighting. And below the figure on the right you will notice a curved black line. This indicates that this stage could revolve if needed.


Illustrated in:

1) Ikeda Bunko, Kamigata yakusha-e shūsei (Collected Kamigata Actor Prints), vol. 5, Ikeda Bunko Library, Osaka 2005, no. 270.

2) Schätze der Kamigata: Japanische Farbholzschnitte aus Osaka 1780-1880, MNHA (Musée national d'histoire et d'art Luxembourg), p. 137, #283, 2012.


In 1873 this diptych was reprinted "...with the face and name of the actor on the left changed, made in 1873.2 for the play Keisei Nazuna no Sekku at the Kado Theater." There are other changes too. Click on the second link above from the Museum of Fine Art in Boston for a full view.