Artist: Shunkōsai Hokushū (春好斎北洲)

Print: Ichikawa Ebijūrō I (市川鰕十郎) as Teraoka Heiemon (寺岡平右衛門)

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Dates: 1822,created
Dimensions: 9.375 in,13.875 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: color woodblock print

Signed: Shunkōsai Hokushū ga
Publisher seal: Honya Seishichi
(Marks 123 - seal 25-527)
Co-publisher: Yamaichi (Marks U438 - seal 02-036)

Related links: Freer-Sackler Galleries; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Lyon Collection - the full triptych;Lyon Collection - another copy of the right panel;Valtion Taidemuseo (The Finnish National Gallery);

Physical description:

This is the left panel of a triptych depicting Ebijūrō, Utaemon III, and Matsue III. This performance of the play Ōishizuri Sakura Tanzaku must have been great as it has been depicted by artists of both Hokushū and Yoshikuni circles. This print helps commemorate a performance at the Naka Theater in 3/1822.

In Schwaab's Osaka Prints. page 86, plate 45.


The Freer/Sackler says of this print:

"In this print, which is the left print of a triptych (see also S2004.3.260), Ichikawa Ebijuro I plays the character of a kabuki policemen known as torite. The bold, patterned background, a common feature in Osaka actor prints, is rendered in reserve, and is based on the actor's family crest.

The poem inscribed on the print praises Ebijuro's sword performances, referring to the phrase, "a thousand ryo actor," or one who deserves an extravagant salary:

He receives rave reviews
for taking lead roles
in sword-fight scenes-
surely done well enough
to deserve a thousand ryō.

Translation of poems by John T. Carpenter"


Also illustrated in

1) Ikeda Bunko, Kamigata yakusha-e shūsei (Collected Kamigata Actor Prints), vol. 1, Ikeda Bunko Library, Osaka 1997, no. 122.
2) Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints in the Anne van Biema Collections, p. 149.