Hirosada, Nakamura Tamaschichi as a Manzai Dancer

Konishi Hirosada (ca 1810 - 1864) Nakamura Tamashichi as a Manzai Dancer, 1849. Deluxe Chuban.

Click here for a detailed enlargement.

This rare print and its companion piece is from a highly regarded series of three prints, issued to commemorate the stage debut of the child actor Nakamura Tamashichi in 1848. He was the twelve year old son of the actor Nakamura Shikan III. The prints were probably issued in a limited edition, paid for and sponsored by his patrons and supporters in the Osaka kabuki scene. The print is exquisite and delicate and as usual laden with visual puns. The first character in the boy’s name, tama, means "jewel" and the robes here are decorated with a jewel motif. The title of the play, Aratamaru oshika omoiba (To Think How The Mandarin Ducks Have Changed), contains the syllable for circle and this and its companion print both contain bold hand drum motifs.

The poem in the fan motif exhorts the viewer to support the actor with the lines:

we beg our fans to patronise us through the years.

The play involves quick changes of costume, transforming the actors into mandarin ducks.

A fine print with deluxe embellishments. The colour, impression and condition are all fine.

Published by Kinkado.

18cm x 24cm.