Artist: Utagawa Toyokuni I (初代歌川豊国)

Print: Ichikawa Komazō III (市川高麗蔵) on the left as the courtesan Takao (高尾 - 'けいせい高尾ぼうこん') and Bandō Mitsugorō III (坂東三津五郎) as Ashikaga Yorikane (足利左金吾頼兼)

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Dates: 1800,created
Dimensions: 9.875 in,15.375 in,Overall dimensions

Signed: Toyokuni ga (豊国画)
Publisher: Nishimuraya Yohachi
(Marks 391 - 23-016)
Censor's seal: kiwame

Related links: Waseda University ; Hankyu Culture Foundation;

Physical description:

This is from the play Keisei Takao Bokon (けいせい高尾ぼうこん) performed in the third month of 1800.


There is an additional, as yet unidentified, seal in red on the print in the Lyon Collection that does not appear on either of the linked examples at Waseda University or at the Hankyu Culture Foundation. Perhaps it is a collector's seal.


There are at least 5 other prints in the Lyon Collection that represent Takao. One of these is a vertical diptych, also by Toyokuni I. While there are also representations by Kunisada, Kuniyoshi and Ashiyuki.


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.


There is also another copy of this print in the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden.