Artist: Ryūsai Shigeharu (柳斎重春)

Print: Nakamura Utaemon III as Jiraiya in the play
Yaemusubi Jiraiya Monogatari [柵自来也談]

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Dates: circa 1833,created
Dimensions: 10.0 in,14.5 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese color woodblock print

Signed: Ryūsai Shigeharu ga
Carver: Kasuke

Related links: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Waseda University; Tokyo Fuji Art Museum; Jordan Schnitzler Museum of Art - anonymous loan; The Agency for Cultural Affairs;

Physical description:

Roger Keyes in The Theatrical World of Osaka Prints wrote on page 128 - with a full page color reproduction on page 129:

"For the production of a play on the subject of Ishikawa Goemon in the spring of 1833, Nakamura Utaemon III, the actor who played the role of the outlaw, especially commissioned a new episode from the playwright Nishizawa Ippō. A courtesan gives birth to a child, but abandons it to his father, Kanō Shirojirō, in order to become the mistress of a wealthy lord. The father wanders through a snowy night, and the family is eventually reunited. Goemon is not mentioned in the subplot but only one baby appeared in the play. Why the bandit chief should be standing in a mountain pass at the head of his entire gang, holding the child, is unclear. The poem printed in silver at the upper left is faint and undecipherable.

This surimono-style ōban engraved by Kasuke is possibly from [a] set published in 1833...

Painters of the Shijō and related schools in Osaka and Kyoto were avid designers of surimono. Their engravers and printers evolved a number of conventions and technical mannerisms to reproduce the painterly style. The conventions that were developed for the Shijō surimono were used with great effect in ōban portriats of actors like this... The Shijō-style background of the present print reveals a sense of humor seldom seen in prints of the Osaka school." This print is illustrated in a full-page display on the next page.


The Tokyo Fuji Art Museum's information on this print does not agree with that of Roger Keyes. It says that the actor is Nakamura Utaemon, but that the main character is Jiraiya and not Goemon. On top of that they give a different title for this play - something which the records at Waseda University agree with. They also say that the print was published in 1832.

The Tokyo Fuji Art Museum gives a reading of the text printed in silver in the upper left:


They also appear to give the poets name as Baigyoku.


Illustrated in color in a full-page reproduction in 原色浮世絵大百科事典 (Genshoku Ukiyoe Daihyakka Jiten), vol. 9, p. 127.


There is another copy of this print in the Worcester Art Museum.