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Iwai Hanshirō VIII, Ichikawa Danjūrō IX and Ichikawa Sadanji in The Morning East Wind Clearing the Clouds of the Southwest

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Iwai Hanshirō VIII, Ichikawa Danjūrō IX and Ichikawa Sadanji in The Morning East Wind Clearing the Clouds of the Southwest

by Toyohara Kunichika, 1878

The actors Onoe Kikugorō V, Ichikawa Danjūrō IX and Ichikawa Sadanji I (in the play Matsu no sakae Chiyoda no shintoku)
IHL Cat. #1276

About This Print

From right to left, the actors Iwai Hanshirō VIII 岩井半四郎 as Aki the mistress of Kishino Toshiaki 岸野の妾おあき (the mistress of Kirino Toshiaki in real life); Ichikawa Danjūrō IX 市川団十郎 as Saijō Takamori 西條高盛 (Saigō Takamori in real life) and Ichikawa Sadanji 市川左団次 as Hyakushō Sakuzō 百姓作蔵 in the play Okige no kumo harau asagochi (The Morning East Wind Clearing the Clouds of the Southwest), written by Kawatake Mokuami (1816-1893), produced by Morita Kanya (1846-1897) and performed at Morita's Shitomi Theater in February 1878. The background text is dialogue between Danjūrō's character and Sadanji's character.
The play dramatized the recently ended1 Satsuma Rebellion which pitted rebellious samurai mainly from the Southwest (Satsuma and Chōshū provinces) under the leadership of Saigō Takamori against the vastly superior forces of the new Meiji government. 

In the aftermath of the 1868 Meiji Restoration the rules for what could be portrayed on the kabuki stage changed to allow direct reference to topical events.  As stated by the Samuel L. Leiter:

Significant national events could now be put on stage immediately.  In March 1878, for example, Kanya staged at the Shintomi-za a dramatization of the Satsuma Rebellion, which had ended in the rebels’ defeat just months earlier.  Mokuami, the Shintomiza’s resident playwright at the time, provided stirring contemporary roles for Danjūrō IX  (as Saigō Takamori) and Kikugorō V (as Shinowara Kunimoto).  The play’s title, The Morning East Wind Clearing the Clouds of the Southwest (Okige no Kumo Harau Asagochi), referred to southwestern Kyūshū’s Satsuma clan being overcome by the fresh breezes from the eastern capital, that is, Tokyo.  The scenes of modern warfare, with exploding artillery shells (simulated by fireworks) and gunfire, were a great success and earned Kanya a healthy profit.  It was an extremely important step toward contemporary realism for so recent a historical event to be quickly dramatized, with all the historical names intact.2  

The use of contemporary subject matter, the graphic depiction of the battle scenes (which used fireworks onstage), and the popular sympathy for the defeated hero all contributed to the enormous success of the play which ran for eighty days.3


1 Open hostilities began in February 1877 and continued into September 1877, when the rebels were soundly defeated with most of their leadership, including Saigō Takamori, dead.  For more information on the Rebellion see the article Satsuma Rebellion and Saigō Takamori Prints
2 Kabuki Plays on Stage: Restoration and Reform, 1872-1905, ed., James R. Brandon, Samuel L. Leiter, University of Hawaii Press, 2003, p. 19
3 [A] Kabuki Reader: History and Performance, Samuel L. Leiter, ed., M.E. Sharpe, 2002, p. 148, footnote 27

The Actors Pictured 

For information on the actors see the article The Kabuki Actor on this site.

Transcription of the text

今御身らが今日をふけいきなりとかこつのも いハゆる國のおとろへにて時世につれてのことなれバ たれのとがともいふにもあらず 方今三府六港をはじめ都 下ハ不学のものなきゆへかく開化の域にすすめど 遠境僻地にいたりてハ有学のものまれなるゆへ いまだぶんめいのときにいたらず されバこん日大政府のあ つき朝肯をわきまへざれバ不平をならすものおほく そのおよバざるをしらずしてやくすれバととふをむすび煽動なすものあるゆへに 天下おだやかならされバ ここに全国のふけいきを生る(しょうずる)なり おひおひ遠境僻地をも学校あらざる所なく教喩おろそかならざれバかね輩ハ云ふに及バず其親たる頑固の者も 終に学事の徳をしり 文明開化に進歩なさバ 凡(およそ)三千五百万の人民兄弟の心を生じ 全国一和なす時ハととうを結ぶ者もなく 全く天下泰平にて鼓腹 の時にいたるべし 夫とても遠からざれバいまのこんくを打(うち)つがひ昔かたりにしたがよい

姓作蔵 市川左團次

かうお見受申た所が戦争などにおかかり合なく あなたハ楽な御身分のお方のやうにぞんじられます ゐなかものの事などハ御存じハありますまいが 先(ま ず)百姓といふ者ハ米ハもとより穀物野菜作つて売るので今日の活計を立て参りますが 四五年此かたふけいきに物の売れのわるい所へ此春からのひごの戦争  長いことも有まいと思ひの外(ほか)に四月ごし立てもいまだにかた付ず ばつたり物がうれなくなり私計りじゃありませぬ 此近郷近在のぶげんハしらず 小 前のものハひといなんぎをいたしまする

ヿその西條卿といふハ御一新のはじめから人にすだれて天朝へ力を尽くしたお方ゆへ くんこうによつて大将の位にまでのぼりしが 何か心にかなハぬことで もあつてのことかぞんじませぬが 辞職なされて国へかへり 私学校を取立て(とりたてて)多くのせいとへけうゆ(教喩)なし ひまさへあれバ田はたへ出て 農業なすをたのしみに その身におごりハすこしもなくこまる者にほどこして どんなりつぱなおかたでも又ハ水呑百姓でもおなじやうになさるゆへ せかいに あんなおかたハないと薩日隅の三ヶ国でハ邦の仏のやうに思つて わづか三才の子供でも西條卿といふ名をしたふこの人望ハ金銀でハできぬこと うけたまハれ バ学問もすぐれたお方でありながら何ゆへこんなくハだてをなされましたことなるか ぐまいの生れの私共にハ一円がてんが着ませぬ

Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #1276
 Title (Description)  The Morning East Wind Clearing the Clouds of the Southwest
  西南雲晴朝東風 (おきげのくもはらうあさごち) Okige no kumo harau asa kochi
 Artist  Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900)
 Signature
Toyohara Kunichika hitsu 豊原国周筆
 Seal  red Toshidama seal beneath signature
 Publication Date
March 1878
明治十一年三月 日 御届

 Publisher
Fukuda Kumajirō 福田熊次良 [Marks: pub. ref. 071
Right cartouche - 長谷川丁廿番地 -  Hasegawachō 20-banchi [publisher's address]
出版人 福田熊次良 - publisher Fukuda Kumajirō
Left cartouche -画工 荒川八十八 浅草小島丁丗五番地 - artist's name Arakawa Yasohachi [the artist's given name] Asakusa Kojimachō 35-banchi [artist's address]



 Carver
Horikō Yata 彫工弥太
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  fair - almost full size; separate sheets; not backed; small tears and holes; corners of some margins missing
 Genre  ukiyo-e; nigao-e; yakusha-e
 Miscellaneous
 Format  vertical oban triptych
 H x W Paper 
  (R) 14 3/4 x 10 in. (37.5 x 25.4 cm); (C) 14 3/4 x 10 1/8 in. (37.5 x 25.7 cm); (L) 14 1/2 x 9 7/8 in. (36.8 x 25.1 cm)
 Literature 
 
 Collections This Print
 Shizuoka Prefectural Central Library K915-108-025-025; The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University 101-5271, 5272, 5273
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