Kunisada, Ichikawa Uzaemon as Arajishi Otokonosuke in Date no Juyaku

Utagawa Kunisada/Toyokuni III (1786-1865)  Ichikawa Uzaemon as Arajishi Otokonosuke from the play Date no Juyaku, 1830. Oban.

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The print illustrates a very well known kabuki villain Nikki Danjo in the play Date no juyaku, which involves the tale of a palace intrigue and real events involving the Date clan of Sendai during the 1660’s, although again, because of censorship over historic subject matter in the theatre, names, dates and details have been changed.

The final scene is a classic of kabuki drama. A servant spots the rat and attacks it; it escapes but dramatically re-emerges through a trapdoor in the hanamichi (the stage extension into the theatre audience) in the true form of Nikki Danjo and carrying the scroll in his mouth. He exits the stage as if walking magically on clouds.

Here Kunisada shows the actor Ichikawa Uzaemon as Arajishi Otokonosuke, the servant in the famous kabuki scene where the rat is trapped beneath his foot. It’s a very nice piece this, full of action and drama with a fine rat from one of the most popular kabuki plays. Colour impression and condition all very good.

37 x 25 cm.