Yoshitaki, Ichikawa Enzo as Suzuki Magoichi from Chronicles of Hideyoshi

Utagawa Yoshitaki (ca 1841 - 1899) Ichikawa Enzo as Suzuki Magoichi from Chronicles of Hideyoshi, ca. 1860. Chuban.

A further Yoshitaki chuban shows the warrior Magoichi overcoming an enemy with the field of battle blazing in the background. Of course, this being Osaka, this is actually a picture of a kabuki scene from one of the plays in the Chronicles of Hideyoshi and the principle character is not Suzuki Magoichi but Ichikawa Enzo playing the role. Suzuki Magoichi was an historical character from the sixteenth century, famous for resisting the powerful Oda Nobunaga. He is said to have escaped and lived out his days as a monk.

It is interesting to compare this print with the Yoshikuni print of the Nursemaid earlier in the show. In that piece the nuts and bolts of stagecraft - the flats and props etc - are clearly drawn; in this piece, thirty years later, the conventions of depicting the theatre stage have almost completely changed. The piece is closer in style and realism to a warrior print by Kuniyoshi, from which it draws inspiration.

This is a delightfully fresh and crisp first edition, Yoshitaki pictures Magoichi in typical pose with a traveling trunk on his back. There is something of the same quality to this print as another Osaka print of the same subject in the British Museum by the artist Ashiyuki.

Full size with trimmed margins, very fine colour with burnished lacquer applied to the armour. Condition and impression very crisp.

18cm x 25cm.