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Iwai Hanshirō VIII, Ichikawa Danjūrō IX, Ichikawa Shinjūrō II and Nakamura Nakazō III (Merger of the Kawarazaki and Shinbori Theatres)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Iwai Hanshirō VIII, Ichikawa Danjūrō IX, Ichikawa Shinjūrō II and Nakamura Nakazō III

(1876 Merger of Kawarazaki and Shinbori Theatres)

by Toyohara Kunichika, 1876

Ura Omote Yanagi no Uchiwae


IHL Cat. #1138

About This Print

Identical remarks/notes on this print by the National Diet Library (see their print 1301780and Tokyo Metropolitan Library (see their print 5721-C96) reading 明治9年は中村・新堀座の合併興行, lead me to believe that the publication of this print coincided with the change of ownership in the Kawarazaki theater sometime in 1876 to a new group of investors who renamed the theater the Shinbori.  The presence of chrysanthemums indicates that this print is marking an auspicious occasion.  The background text which would shed more light on the circumstances of this print is untranslated.

The Actors Pictured 

From right to left:
Iwai Hanshirō VIII 岩井半四郎
Ichikawa Danjūrō IX 市川団十郎
Ichikawa Shinjūrō II 市川新十郎 (formerly Ichikawa Fukuen 市川福猿 )
Nakamura Nakazō III 中村仲蔵

For background on the actors see their respective entries in the article The Kabuki Actor on this site.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #1138
 Title (Description)  Iwai Hanshirō VIII, Ichikawa Danjūrō IX, Ichikawa Shinjūrō II and Nakamura Nakazō III (1876 merger of Kawarazaki and Shinbori Theatres)
 岩井半四郎 市川団十郎 市川新十郎 中村仲蔵
 Artist  Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900)
 Signature
豊原国周筆
年玉印
Toyohara Kunichika hitsu with Toshidama seal
(on both sheets)
荒川八十八画
Arakawa Yasohachi ga
(artist's legal name appearing in left margin of the left sheet)

 Seal  toshidama seal below signature
 Publication Date
 July 1876 (明治09)
 Publisher
 left sheet, lower left
福田熊次郎板
Fukuda Kumajirō
(right column unread.   possibly reading Hasegawachō)

 right sheet, lower right of image
人形町 具足屋
Ningyōchō Gusokuya
(seal of Gusokuya Kahei
具足屋嘉兵衛)
The publishing house Gusokuya Kahei [Marks: pub. ref. 085; seal ref. 24-031] became the publishing house Fukuda Kumajirō [Marks: pub. ref. 071; seal not shown] about the time this print was published.
  Carver

彫工平 Horikō Hei (also read as 
Horikō Hira), appearing on right and left sheets.
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  fair - soiling; rubbing; paper thinning; trimmed right and left margins
 Genre  ukiyo-e; yakusha-e
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  vertical oban diptych
 H x W Paper 
 13 5/8 x 9 3/8 in. (34.6 x 23.8 cm) left sheet
 13 5/8 x 9 3/16 in. (34.6 x 23.3 cm) left sheet
 Literature 
 
 Collections This Print
 Tokyo Metropolitan Library 5721-C96; National Diet Library 1301780
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