Hirosada, Kabuki Portrait of Daigoro IV

Gosotei Hirosada (ca. 1810 - 1864) Mimasu Daigoro IV as Iwafuji in the play Kagamiyama Kokyô no Nishikie, 1852. Chuban.

A deluxe print of Mimasu Daigoro IV playing the role of Iwafuji in a surprising play about fighting between the women of a samurai court. Iwafuji challenges the under lady-in-waiting, Onoe to show her fighting skills, the sign of a true samurai woman. Onoe’s maid Ohatsu takes her place, infuriating Iwafuji.  Iwafuji continues to bully Onoe who eventually kills herself in despair. In the final scene Ohatsu confronts Iwafuji, killing her in a fight in the palace garden. When the head of the household discovers the affair he rewards Ohatsu, giving her the name of her late mistress and allowing her to succeed to her position. The character of Iwafuji is more often portrayed holding a slipper, the object that she uses to beat the hapless Onoe.

Mimasu Daigoro was born in 1798 in Osaka and became an outstanding kabuki actor specialising in male roles. He spent eighteen years in Edo before returning to Osaka. He died in May 1859.

Another outstanding, intimate portrait by Hirosada. The face of the actor looms out of the darkness reflecting the character of the role. The costume is elaborated by bold, burnished   geometrical patterns.

A fine print, full size, untrimmed. Fine impression and colour with burnishing to the robes.