Kunishige, Oyumi from the play Keisei Awa no Naruto

Kunishige (active 1847 - 1855) Oyumi from the Play Keisei Awa no Naruto, c.1850. Deluxe Chuban.

This very beautiful chuban portrait is by a little known Osaka artist Kunishige. Kunishige was a pupil of Kunimasu; otherwise little is known about him and he is not to be confused with Shigeharu who also used this name. The print shows an actor playing the role of Oyumi, from the play Keisei Awa no Naruto. Oyumi is married to Jurobei, a samurai in search of a lost sword. They leave their infant daughter behind in pursuit of the treasure and many years later Oyumi meets a pilgrim, a young girl in search of her parents. Of course, this being kabuki, the girl turns out to be the long lost daughter. Fearful of her daughter’s safety, given the life of banditry that she now leads, she wrestles with her emotions but keeps her identity hidden. The girl leaves but, overcome with grief that she may never see her daughter again, Oyumi rushes out of the house to call her back. But the girl is already gone. Anguished, Oyumi is reduced to tears, but she resolves to go after her daughter. The scene ends with Oyumi standing before her house preparing to leave.

This is a fine Osaka print from an uncommon artist, the print quality is very fine as is the colour and impression. Overall, the condition is excellent.

25cm x 18cm.