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Nakamura Utaemon III (中村歌右衛門) as Ishikawa Goemon (石川五右衛門) on the right and Arashi Rikan II (嵐璃寛) as Omi no Funauri Gengorō (近江ノ鮒売源五郎) from the play Keisei Setsugekka [けいせい雪月花]

Identifier: 1830 Shigeharu keisei setsugekka
Description:

Shigeharu designed right sheet, Kunihiro designed left sheet. This diptych commemorates the debut of the play Keisei Setsugekka at the Kado theater in 1830/1. These two artists collaborated on 6 or 7 works of art in the years 1829-30. This is probably the last of these joint ventures. [This information is taken from Osaka Prints by Dean J. Schwaab, p. 147. This is accompanied by a fairly large color illustration.]

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Please note the awesomely gruesome human skull lying on the ground below the edge of the engawa on the left panel. Rising up from it is a ghostly (gray colored) flame, the symbol used ordinarily to mark things-supernatural in Japanese woodblock prints.

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Literature:

Ikeda Bunko, Kamigata yakusha-e shūsei (Collected Kamigata Actor Prints), vol. 2, Osaka, 1998, no 131.

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