Hirosada, Kanadehon Chushingura

Konishi Hirosada (ca 1810 - 1864) Konishi Hirosada (ca 1810 - 1864) Kanadehon Chushingura including Nakamura Utaemon IV as Oboshi Yuranosuke, 1851. Chuban Triptych.

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A stunning example of a Hirosada night scene from the well known story of the revenge of the 47 Ronin. The print is an outstanding example of one of Hirosada’s classic late nocturne triptychs and is superbly printed with dense, rich colours, embossing and metallic inks. The performance at the Naka Theatre in 1851 included some of the great stars of the kabuki stage, including: left: Mimasu Gennosuke II as Yazamu Jutaro and Nakamura Sagisuke as Owashi Bungo; centre: Mimasu Tanin V as Kodera Junai, Nakamura Sennosuke as Oboshi Rikiya and Mimasu Baisha as Hara Goemon; and right: Nakamura Utaemon IV as Oboshi Yuranosuke.

This is  perhaps the most famous drama of kabuki theatre and the real historical characters are still revered today at their shrine and in films, books, plays and cartoons. The true story tells the suicide of Enya Hangan who in 1701 was forced to draw his sword in the Shogun’s palace by the goading  of the courtier Moronao. Hangan is obliged to commit suicide for the offence and his retainers become Ronin, leaderless samurai. They vow revenge and the play revolves around their plotting and preparation, culminating in the storming of Moronao’s house and his eventual assassination.
 The kabuki superstar is the real subject here, on the right-hand sheet, holding the lantern aloft. In the actual story, the character he plays, Oboshi Yuranosuke, was the organiser and ring leader of the revenge plot.

Particularly impressive is the wonderful massing of the crowded figures on the left hand side and the isolation of Yuranosuke on the right, the movement of the figures echoed by the rhythm of the lanterns held aloft.

Three sheets unbacked and unattached. Colour, impression and condition are all fine.

55cm x 25cm.