Home‎ > ‎Artists‎ > ‎Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900)‎ > ‎

Onoe Kikugorō V, Ichikawa Danjūrō IX and Ichikawa Sadanji I (in the play Matsu no sakae Chiyoda no shintoku)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Onoe Kikugorō V, Ichikawa Danjūrō IX and Ichikawa Sadanji I

(in the play Matsu no sakae Chiyoda no shintoku)

by Toyohara Kunichika, 1878

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


IHL Cat. #1188

About This Print

The three greatest actors of the time (from right to left) Onoe Kikugorō V in the role of Kashiwabara Koheita (柏原小平太), Ichikawa Danjūrō IX in the role of Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家泰公) and Ichikawa Sadanji I in the role of Kakuya Shichirōji (角屋七郎次) in the play Matsu no sakae Chiyoda no shintoku, written by Kawatake Mokuami (1816-1892), staged at the Shintomi-za in June 1878. The play, which portrayed the life of first Tokugawa shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, was the first commercial production in the Shintomi-za and ran for forty-two days, attracting a total of 49,000 theater goers.1 

The Play - Matsu no sakae Chiyoda no shintoku

The play, an historical drama (katsurekigeki or "living history play"), is variously translated as "The Luxuriance of Pine Trees Symbolizing the Divine Virtue of the Emperor", "Pine’s Glory and Sacred Virtue in Chiyoda", "The Thriving Pines and the Divine Virtues of Chiyoda" and "The Glorious Pine".

The play was praised for its "factual authenticity"2 and Danjūrō would have his hawking costume, an exact replica of the one actually worn by Ieyasu, made for him by the formal wear tailors to the Imperial court.3

By the attendance figures, the play was very popular, but also somewhat controversial in the eyes of the audience. In the "dramatic final scene when a phalanx of retainers receive their swords from Hideyoshi, they were directed to advance on their knees in the historically accurate manner. The ensuing frivolity erupting in the house, including shouts of 'Caterpillars!,' was discussed with gravity in the press."4


1 A Kabuki Reader: History and Performance, Samuel L. Leiter, Routledge, 2015, p. 146
2 Negotiating Censorship in Modern Japan, Rachael Hutchinson, Routledge, 2013, p. 25.
3 "Takatoki: A Kabuki Drama", Faith Bach, appearing in Asian Theatre Journal, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Autumn 1998), University of Hawai'i Press, p. 157.
4 Ibid.


The Actors Pictured 

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

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1188
 Title (Description)The actors Onoe Kikugorō V in the role of Kashiwabara Koheita (柏原小平太), Ichikawa Danjūrō IX in the role of Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家泰公) and Ichikawa Sadanji I in the role of Kakuya Shichirōji (角屋七郎次)Onoe Kikugorō V, Ichikawa Danjūrō IX and Ichikawa Sadanji I (in the play Matsu no sakae Chiyoda no shintoku)
柏原小平太 [5]尾上菊五郎 , 徳川家泰公 [9]市川団十郎, 角屋七郎次 [1]市川左団次 (松栄千代田神徳 まつのさかえちよだのしんとく)
 Artist Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900)
 Signature Toyohara Kunichika hitsu 
 Seal red Toshidama seal beneath signature
 Publication Date
May 15, 1878 御届明治十一年五月十五日 (date delivered for approval)

 Publisher
Left cartouche - 出版人 林吉藏 [shuppanjin Hayashi Kichizō] followed by pubisher's address [Nantenmachō Itchōme 2-banchi]
Right cartouche - 荒川八十八 (Arakawa Yasohachi, the artist's given name) followed by his address
[Marks: pub. ref. 556, seal no. 26-123]
 Carver 
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent - line of stray printer's ink left sheet next to signature cartouche
 Genre ukiyo-e; nigao-e; yakusha-e
 Miscellaneous
Price 6 sen 價六銭
 Format vertical oban triptych
 H x W Paper 
 13 7/8 x 9 1/2 in. (35.2 x 24.1 cm) each sheet
 Literature 
 
 Collections This Print
 The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University 101-4973, 101-4974, 101-4975
Comments