Ryūsai Shigeharu (柳斎重春) (artist 1802 – 1852)
Arashi Rikan II (嵐璃寛) in the role of Oguri Hangan (小栗判官) in the kabuki play Hime Kurabe Futaba Ezōshi ['Picture-book comparison of twin blades and the princess': 姫競双葉絵草紙] - this is the right-hand panel of a diptych
9.875 in x 15 in (Overall dimensions) Japanese woodblock print
Oguri Hangan was considered a rampaging hero on a par with a king, if not even of the imperial line. Terute-hime was a clairvoyant who was "...imbued with shamanic powers." Susan Matisoff has argued that Oguri was ascribed "...superhuman attributes and eerie wild vigor. His qualities as a kami, in effect, leak through and are perceptible in advance, even in his mortal manifestation, yet his power is not absolute. And his extraordinary qualities are a strange mix of the unacceptable and the exalted." Later she notes that "There are also intimations of Oguri as a deity born or re-born from a deeply polluted state. Oguri is a remarkable hybrid being, the human incarnation of a deity, with faint imperial overtones, yet for a time a frighteningly marginal figure, a blighted, leprous cripple, like the most pathetic sort of roadside beggar."
Oguri was said to have been the only child of the Dainagon of the Second Avenue and his wife who was a descendant of the Hitachi Genji clan. Oguri "...was a mōshigo 申し子, a baby granted to a previously childless, though, as here, usually quite wealthy couple in response to their prayers to a deity. In this case the granting deity is Bishamon 毘沙門 at Kurama." When it came time for Oguri to be married he turned down 72 prospects brought forward by his mother. His failure to choose leads him to be exiled. Or, there may be another reason for his exile. Oguri went out in search of a wife on his own. On his way to pray at a temple he stopped by Mizoro pond to play his flute. A monstrous snake in the pond was smitten with Oguri's beauty and transformed itself into a beautiful young woman. They met and had sex. Eventually word got out in the capital as to what had happened and Oguri's father was so angry he is the one who sent him into exile.
The left-hand panel of the diptych shows Iwai Shijaku I as Princess Terute on dry land. The full diptych is illustrated in Ikeda Bunko, Kamigata yakusha-e shūsei (Collected Kamigata Actor Prints), vol. 2, Ikeda Bunko Library, Osaka 1998, no. 167.
Tenmaya Kihei (天満屋喜兵衛) (publisher)
actor prints (yakusha-e - 役者絵) (genre)
Kyōto-Osaka prints (kamigata-e - 上方絵) (genre)
Arashi Rikan II (二代目嵐璃寛: 9/1828 - 6/1837) (actor)
Oguri Hangan (小栗判官) (role)