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

Print: Sawamura Chōjūrō V (五代目沢村長十郎) as Tsubone Iwafuji (局岩藤) from the play Sumidagawa Tsui no Kaga-mon (隅田川対高賀紋)

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Dates: 1852,created
Dimensions: 9.5 in,13.5 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese color woodblock print

Signed: Toyokuni ga (豊国画)
Publisher Hayashiya Shōgorō
(Marks 106 - seal 11-003)
Date seal: 2/1852
Censor seals: Fuku and Muramatsu

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - the full diptych; Waseda University - this panel ; Waseda University - left panel ; Hankyu Culture Foundation - right panel; Hankyu Culture Foundation - left panel;

Physical description:

This is the right panel of a diptych. On the left is Onoe Kikujirō II as the maidservant (Meshitsukai) Ohatsu holding an umbrella. The green 'stain' in the lower left corner is likely the original color.

This image commemorates a performance in the second month of 1852.


Another copy of this print is one of 116 prints which were given by a private collector to the Real Academia Nacional de Farmacia in Spain. The full diptych is shown on line.

There are four other prints in the Lyon Collection showing the figure of Iwafuji.


Iwafuji is the evil, female protagonist of the 18th century play Kagamiyama Kokyō no Nishikie (鏡山旧錦絵) which is a female version/rendition of the Kanahedon Chūshingura.

Based on true events, Iwafuji, jealous of the beauty of a younger but less privileged woman, Onoe, unjustly humiliates her. Onoe felt that the only honorable thing she could do was to commit suicide. Onoe's maid, Ohatsu, got revenge for his mistress by eventually killing Iwafuji.


Iwafuji often wears an outfit referred to as a katahazushi. "The costume of the upper-class samurai wife and the goten juchū (ranking lady-in-waiting) at the courts of the shōgun and the daimyō - but not at the imperial court - is referred to as the katahazushi ishō... because these women wear the wig with the asymmetrical, topknot known as the katahazushi mage (kata, one side; hazushi, unfastened, disconnected; mage, topknot."