Hirosada, An Actor as Kanai Tanigoro

Konishi Hirosada (ca 1810 - 1864) An Actor as Kanai Tanigoro from Go Taiheiki Shiraishi Banashi, 1848. Chuban.

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A fine Hirosada portrait of an actor in the role of Kanai Tanigoro from the kabuki drama, Go Taiheiki Shiraishi Banashi. The play was originally written for the puppet theatre (bunraku) and involves intrigue around stolen mirrors and severed heads.

In act two, the scene is set in Oshu in a forest at night near a shrine dedicated to a local deity. Uji Hyobunosuke Joetsu, a ronin, sees Kanai  Tanigoro, a ronin from the Kochi province, bury a severed head. They introduce themselves to each other and start talking. When Tanigoro speaks ill of Kusunoki Masashige, Joetsu's former master, Joetsu gets angry. In their subsequent fighting with drawn swords, Joetsu desperately protects a branch of a mandarine orange from being cut by Tanigoro's sword. As the mandarine orange is the symbol of the family of Kusunoki Masashige, Tanigoro is impressed with Joetsu's loyalty and offers to make peace with him.

The play develops over the remaining acts as more plot lines and characters are added. Hirosada presents the figure of Tanigoro against a jet black background, clutching his sword staring out of the picture.

Colour is outstanding, as usual for Osaka prints, condition and impression are fine also. Margins on three sides, unbacked.

17cm x 25 cm.