Hisamatsu and Kyūsaku in Shinpan Utazaimon: Osome Hisamatsu from the Illustrated Collection of Famous Japanese Puppets of the Osaka Bunrakuza

Seitaka Dōji from the folio Collection of One Hundred Kumadori Makeups in Kabuki, Collection 2
 

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Hisamatsu and Kyūsaku in

Shinpan Utazaimon: Osome Hisamatsu

[The New Scandalous Ballad of Osome and Hisamatsu]

from the Illustrated Collection of Famous Japanese Puppets of the Osaka Bunrakuza

Hasegawa Sadanobu III, 1926

Portrait of Saigō Takamori



IHL Cat. #1656

About This Print

Picturing the puppets Hisamatsu 久松 and his elderly foster father Kyūsaku 久作 in the play Shinpan Utazaimon: Osome Hisamatsu written by Chikamatsu Hanji (1725-1783) and first staged in 1780.

Brief Plot Summary
Source: Historical Dictionary of Japanese Traditional Theatre, Samuel L. Leiter, The Scarecrow Press, 2006, p. 250-251 
A story of unrequited love and double suicide.  In Nozaki Mura the country girl Omitsu is in love with Hisamatsu, but he is in love with the city girl Osome. Aware that they might commit double suicide if thwarted, Omitsu cuts her hair off to become a nun.

explanatory sheet
新版歌祭文  お染久松
Source: Ritsuemikan University Art Research Center 201-1499
click on image to enlarge



About the "Illustrated Collection of Famous Japanese Puppets of the Osaka Bunrakuza"


This collection of prints was issued over the period March 1926 (Taishō 15) to August 1927 (Shōwa 2)1 by the publishing houses Bijutsusha 美術社 in Tokyo and and three months last be Hangakai hanmoto 版画会板元 (板畫會板元) in Kyoto on a subscription (members only) basis. The cost per set was 3 yen. The editor and publisher for both the Bijutsusha and Hangakai hanmoto sets was Hayashi Eikichi 林榮吉, who was also the editor for Hasegawa's Collection of One Hundred Kumadori Makeups in Kabuki. The Illustrated Collection of Famous Japanese Puppets of the Osaka Bunrakuza consists of twelve sets of prints each set depicting a specific play in the bunraku repertory, as listed in the below table. Each set contains a stage set for the specific play along with three prints of puppet characters appearing in the play and an explanatory sheet, for a total of forty-eight color woodblock prints and twelve monochrome explanatory sheets. Each of the stage set prints was originally issued with a tissue overlay showing the position of the three puppet characters on the stage. All of the plays pictured were performed at the Bunraku Theater located within the Goryō Shrine compound in Osaka. The Goryō Bunraku-za burned down in November 1926 after what has been described as "an extremely difficult managerial era" and "lost interest" by the public in the late Taisho era.2 It is unknown what role, if any, the management of the Goryō Bunraku-za may have played in the formulation and issuance of this print series in their efforts to revitalize the theater.

1 Dates are taken from the colophons on the envelopes containing the print sets in the Waseda University Archives
2 National Diet Library website page http://www.ndl.go.jp/scenery/e/column/kansai/goryo_bunrakuza.html which provides a history of the Goryo Bunrakuza.


Explanation, Stage Set and Three Puppet Portraits for the play
Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees
click on image to enlarge

At a later date, the publisher Uchida acquired the blocks and reissued many, if not all, of the prints. The Uchida puppet prints bear their octagonal Uchida hanmoto seal 版元 うちだ, as can be seen in the lower right corner of the below print on the right, and their prints typically have larger margins. The color palette was also altered on many of the Uchida reissued prints, although in the below print on the left, the original orange ink has oxidized to a rich brown. I believe the stage set prints, although they do no carry Uchida's seal, were also reissued by Uchida but without the tissue paper overlays and with margins as can be seen in IHL Cat. #1658 Stage Set for Kamakura Sandaiki.

click on image to enlarge
left: as originally issued in 1926/1927 
right: as reissued by Uchida Publishing, likely post-war.
Note the small modification to the hair on the puppets head in the Uchida print.

 Play Name in Japanese Play Name in English
 壇浦兜軍記
 Dan-no-ura kabuto gunki
 Chronicle of the Battle of Dan-no-ura
 義経千本桜 静忠信道行
 Yoshitsune senbon zakura -  Sei chūshin michiyuki 
 Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees - travel dance of devotion
 一の谷嫩軍記  一谷嫩軍記、組打
 Ichinotani futaba gunki - kumiuchi 
 Chronicle of the Battle of Ichinotani –  The  Duel
 仮名手本忠臣蔵 忠臣蔵、五段目
 Kanadehon Chūshingura – go danme
 The Treasury of Loyal Retainers: Act 5
 仮名手本忠臣蔵 忠臣蔵、七段目
 Kanadehon Chūshingura – shichi danme
 The Treasury of Loyal Retainers: Act 7
 伊賀越道中双六  伊賀越敵討
 Igagoe dōchū sugoroku - Igagoe katakiuchi 
 The Revenge at Igagoe - Vengance at  Igagoe 
 心中天網嶋 小春治兵衛
 Shinjū ten nō amajima - Koharu Jihei
 The Love Suicides at Amijima - Koharu  Jihei
 新版歌祭文  お染久松
 Shinpan Utazaimon: Osome Hisamatsu
 The New Scandalous Ballad of Osome and Hisamatsu
 菅原伝授手習鑑  車引き
 Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami – kurumabiki 
 Sugawara and the Secrets of  Calligraphy - the struggle for the carriage
 本朝廿四孝  十種香
 Honchō nijū shikō – jusshukō 
 Twenty-four Examples of Filial Piety – The  Incense Burning
 鎌倉三代記
 Kamakura sandaiki
 Three Generations of Kamakura Shoguns
 夏祭浪花鑑 団七九郎兵衛
 Natsumatsuri Naniwa kagami – Danshichi Kurobei  
 Summer festival at Naniwa (Osaka) – Danshichi Kurobei

Decorative envelopes exist for each set of four prints and the explanatory sheet (likely associated with the subscription)  as does a decorative portfolio or outer box containing the entire set of plays.

The collection's title 日本名物大阪文楽座人形画集 (Ōsaka Bunraku-za Ningyō Gashū: Nihon Meibutsu) has been variously translated as Illustrated Collection of the Famous Japanese Puppets of the Osaka Bunrakuza; Book of Noted Puppets of the Bunrakuza, Osaka and Famous Products of Japan: Osaka Bunraku Theatre Dolls, Book of Prints.



Colophons for the Tokyo-based Bijutsha set and for the
Osaka-based Hangakai hanmoto supscription set
colophon accompanying set of prints published by Bijutsusha 美術社
Note that the date of issue for these prints is March 1926, three months earlier than the June date on the Hangakai-issued prints for sale to "members only.".
大正十五年月十
printed: March 15, 1926
大正十五年二十日發行
issued/published: March 20, 1926
定価圓...
list price: 3 yen  
編輯 發行 林榮吉
editing and publishing Hayashi Eikichi
筆者  長谷川小信 
artist: Hasegawa Sadanobu
彫師 佐藤重一
Jūichi Satō
carver
師 板垣八重松
woodblock printer: Itagaki Yaematsu
發行所  會板元
colophon accompanying set of prints published
by Hangakai hanmoto 會板元
大正十五年六月十
printed: June 15, 1926
大正十五年六月二十日發行
issued/published: June 20, 1926
 費参 會員限リ
membership fee: 3 yen  limited to members only
編輯 發行 林榮吉
editing and publishing Hayashi Eikichi
筆者  長谷川小信 
artist: Hasegawa Sadanobu
彫師 佐藤重一
carver: Jūichi Satō
師 板垣八重松
woodblock printer: Itagaki Yaematsu
發行所  會板元
publishing house: Hangakai hanmoto

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #1656
 Title or Description  The New Scandalous Ballad of Osome and Hisamatsu (also seen translated as The Balladeer's New Tale of Osome and Hisamatsu)
 Shinpan Utazaimon: Osome Hisamatsu
 形新版歌祭文  お染久松 
 Series  Illustrated Collection of the Famous Japanese Puppets of the Osaka Bunrakuza
  Nihon Meibutsu Ōsaka Bunraku-za Ningyō Gashū: 
 日本名物大阪文楽座人形画集
 Artist  Hasegawa Sadanobu III (Konobu III) (1881-1963)
 Signature
信 Konobu
 Seal  信 Konobu oval seal (see above)
 Publication Date  originally Taishō 15 (1926)
 Publisher  美術社 Bijutsusha, Tokyo and 版画会板元 Hangakai hanmoto, Kyoto
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  excellent - paper abrasion upper right corner
 Genre  文楽人形 bunraku ningyō
 Miscellaneous  unread seal on verso
 Format  
 H x W Paper 
 14 3/4 x 10 in. (37.5 x 25.4 cm) 
 H x W Image  14 5/8 x 9 3/4 in. (37.1 x 24.8 cm)
 Literature 

 Collections This Print
 The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University 作品番号: 201-1492 and 201-1542A; Ritsumeikan University Art Research Center arcBK06-0002; National Diet Library 
last revision:
5/5/2020
11/20/2018
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