Hirosada, Arashi Rikan III as Ishida no Tsubone

Konishi Hirosada (ca 1810 - 1864) Arashi Rikan III as Ishida no Tsubone, 1848. Deluxe Chuban.

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The colour printing on parts of this print all but defy description… bearing in mind that this print was made solely with the use of metal gouges on intractable hardwood. The print shows the actor Arashi Rikan III in an onnagata role as the complex female character Tsubone.

Tsubone was an historical sixteenth century character about whom the play, Keisei Ishikawazome ("The Courtesan in a Robe of Dyed Ishikawa Cloth") was created. Lord Tajima has been killed for his support of the warlord Mitsuhide. His wife adopts the name Ishida no Tsubone and vows to avenge his death, sneaking into the palace disguised as a dancer, intent on murdering the regent Hisatsuga. Alas she is recognised and obliged to commit suicide, failing to find the justice that she required.

Hirosada revels in the disguise - and in the title of the play - by enriching her garments with extraordinary subtleties of printing and colour shades… Ishikawa is a province in Japan unique for its rich dyed fabrics. The print is from the series Tales of Loyalty, Bravery and Filial Devotion. ("Chuko buyuden").

Similar to another print of the same subject from the same year, this print shines with colour and design brilliance. Colour is fine and impression very good, a deluxe print with oxidised metallic inks. Condition is very good, trimmed to the margins. Unbacked.

24.5 x 16.5 cm.