Sasaki Takatsuna in Kamakura Sandaiki 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

Sasaki Takatsuna in Kamakura Sandaiki

[Three Generations of Kamakura Shoguns]

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

Hasegawa Sadanobu III, 1927

Portrait of Saigō Takamori



IHL Cat. #2473

About This Print

Picturing the puppet character Sasaki Takatsuna, a high-ranking Kyoto official, who has exchanged identities with Tōzaburō, a peasant body-double, to hide from the Kamakura general Tokimasa. His face has been tatooed to prove he is a harmless peasant and not the enemy of Tokimasa. Hiding in a well he jumps out to explain the reasons for his transformation.

Note that the orange on Sasaki's costume has partially oxidized into a rich orange-brown from its original deep orange color.

For the stage set of this play see Bunraku Theater Stage Set for Kamakura Sandaiki.

Brief Plot Summary - Kamakura Sandaiki
Miuranosuke is a samurai serving the lord of a besieged castle. Tokihime, the woman he is betrothed to marry, is the daughter of the lord leading the attack on the castle. While he is away at battle, she comes to a lonely farming village to care for his sick mother. Miuranosuke comes back from the battle to see his mother, but she refuses to let him in since he has come away from his duties. In turn, Miuranosuke refuses to see Tokihime because she is the daughter of the enemy. Finally, all is revealed to be a plot by the brilliant strategist Takatsuna to force Tokihime to assassinate her father.

The Other Prints in the Kamakura Sandaiki Set

As further explained below, each stage set print was part of a set of five prints consisting of a black and white explanatory sheet and three portraits of puppet characters appearing in the play.
 
explanatory sheet
鎌倉三代記 Kamakura Sandaiki
Source: The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University 201-1528
click on image to enlarge

The four print set for Kamakura Sandaiki
puppets from left to right (as positioned on the stage set print's tissue overlay):
Miuranosuke Yoshimura 三浦之助義村,  Sasaki Takatsuna 佐々木高綱, Tokihime daughter of Tokimasa 時政息女時姫


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

This collection of forty-eight color woodblock prints was designed by Hasegawa Sadanobu III (Konobu III) (1881-1963) and 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 on a subscription (members only) basis by Hangakai hanmoto 版画会板元 (板畫會板元) in Kyoto. The cost per print 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. (See Hasegawa Sadanobu III (Konobu III) (1881-1963) for prints from this collection.)

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 (Bunraku-za) 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 Taishō 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.

For more complete information on this series see the article Illustrated Collection of Famous Japanese Puppets of the Osaka Bunrakuza

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 Goryō Bunrakuza.


 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
 Yoshitsune senbon zakura 
 Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees
 一の谷嫩軍記  
 Ichi-no-tani futaba gunki
 Chronicle of the Battle of Ichinotani
 仮名手本忠臣蔵、五段目
 Kanadehon Chūshingura, go danme
 The Treasury of Loyal Retainers, Act 5
 仮名手本忠臣蔵、七段目
 Kanadehon Chūshingura, shichi danme
 The Treasury of Loyal Retainers, Act 7
 伊賀越道中双六
 Igagoe dōchū sugoroku
 The Revenge at Igagoe
 心中天網嶋
 Shinjū ten no amajima
 The Love Suicides at Amijima
 新版歌祭文
 Shinpan Utazaimon
 The New Scandalous Ballad of Osome and Hisamatsu
 菅原伝授手習鑑 
 Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami 
 Sugawara and the Secrets of  Calligraphy
 本朝廿四孝
 Honchō nijūshikō
 Twenty-four Examples of Filial Piety
 鎌倉三代記
 Kamakura sandaiki
 Three Generations of Kamakura Shoguns
 夏祭浪花鑑 
 Natsumatsuri Naniwa kagami 
 Summer festival at Naniwa (Osaka)


Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #2473
 Title or Description Sasaki Takatsuna in Kamakura Sandaiki [Three Generations of Kamakura Shoguns]
 Bunraku ningyō Sasaki Takatsuna, Kamakura Sandaiki
 文楽人形 鎌倉三代記 佐々木高綱
 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 (see above)
 Publication Date Shōwa 2 (July 1927)
 Publisher 美術社 Bijutsusha, Tokyo and 版画会板元 Hangakai hanmoto, Kyoto
 Carver 佐藤重一 Satō Jūichi
 Printer 板垣八重松 Itagaki Yaematsu
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent 
 Genre 文楽人形 bunraku ningyō
 Miscellaneous
 Format 
 H x W Paper 
 14 5/8 x 9 3/4 in. (37.1 x 24.8 cm)
 H x W Image 14 5/8 x 9 3/4 in. (37.1 x 24.8 cm)
 Literature 

 Collections This Print
 Waseda University Cultural Resource Database 201-1482, 201-1530Ritsumeikan University Art Research Center arcBK06-0002_59; National Diet Library Call Number 414.38; The Met Thomas J. Watson Library  240.3081 H27 Quarto; British Library System number: 018894603 
last revision:
5/13/2021 created
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