Hirosada, Arashi Rikan III as Kaji Dankuro

Konishi Hirosada (ca 1810 - 1864) Actor Arashi Rikan III as Kaji Dankuro, 1848 - 1850.

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This tremendous and dynamic design is by the superstar kabuki actor Arashi Rikan III. He is playing the role of the blacksmith Dankuro from the drama, Kajiya, ("Shin Usuyuki Monogatari"). The scenes most commonly performed show the young blacksmith, Dankuro who has become embroiled in a plot which has resulted in the death of the master sword-smith Kuniyuki. Kuniyuki’s son, Kunitoshi is working for Dankuro’s father Gorobei, also a master sword-smith. Dankuro attempts to oust his own father from the business out of jealousy for his rival Kunitoshi and because Kunitoshi is in love with his sister.

Under these threats the issue of the repair of the shogun’s sword becomes central. Marks and damage to the sword reveal the poor behaviour of Dankuro and he is shamed and is disowned by  his father. One of the ways in which he is shamed is in the cutting of his right arm by his father with the offending sword.  In the final acts, Dankuro’s wickedness is exposed but he repents and is forgiven by the rest of the family and the play ends on a happy note.

In this striking design, Hirosada shows Dankuro parrying a blow from a weapon. with a blacksmith’s hammer. The robe over his shoulder falls across his arm revealing an orange splash… surely a reference to his father’s humiliating blow?

This is a fine, dynamic design. Colour and impression are all fine and there is deep embossing to the swathe of robe over Dankuro’s arm.

18 x 25 cm.