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Onoe Kikugorō V as Torii Kyouemon from the series One Hundred Roles of Baikō

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Onoe Kikugorō V as Torii Kyouemon

from the series One Hundred Roles of Baikō

by Toyohara Kunichika, 1893

Ichikawa Danjūrō IX as Mongaku Shonin from the series One Hundred Roles of Ichikawa Danjuro


IHL Cat. #1376

About This Print

The actor Onoe Kikugorō V (1844-1903) as the faithful messenger Torii Kyouemon1 passing through a moat strung with ropes of warning bells on his return to Mikawa, in the play Go fūdoki kabuki no hon'yomi (Reading a Play on the History of the Region.) The insert in the top left shows the actor Ichikawa Danjūrō IX in the role of Okudaira Heihachir in the play.

For profiles of Onoe Kikugorō V and Ichikawa Danjūrō IX please see the article The Kabuki Actor.

The historical Torii Suneemon (1540-1575), who Kikugorō's character was based on, "was a retainer of Okudaira Sadamasa and a member of the Nagashino Castle garrison when it came under siege by Takeda Katsuyori in 1575. He bravely volunteered to sneak through enemy lines to get help. However, he was captured on his return and ordered to shout to his compatriots that no help was coming. Instead he shouted encouragement and was crucified."2

1 "Torii Kyouemon" トリイ キョウエモン per the Tokyo Metropolitan Library 

The Series "One Hundred Roles of Baikō"
Source: Time Present and Time Past: Images of a Forgotten Master: Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900), Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing, 1999, p. 26, 27.

In 1893 Kunichika undertook a commission for two series of single-sheet portraits, each dedicated to the two most famous actors of their time, Ichikawa Danjūrō IX (1838-1903) and Onoe Kikugorō V (1844-1903).  The first of these, One hundred roles of Danjūrō, featured the major roles of Ichikawa Danjūrō IX in a set of half-length portraits.  (See print IHL Cat. #s 663, 689 and 701.) The second, One hundred roles of Baikō, featured the major roles of Onoe Kikugorō V and included an insert on the top of the print depicting a supporting actor.  Both the series were commissioned by Fukuda Kumajirō and Gusokuya Kahei. These two series are regarded as ‘monuments to his [Kunichika’s] career’.

The name "Baikō" in the series title was the haiku pen name of Onoe Kikugorō V and Kunichika was on friendly terms with him, often drinking tea and chatting backstage. 

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1376
 Title (Description) [Onoe Kikugorō V] in the role of Torii Kyouemon and Ichikawa Danjūrō IX as Okudaira Heihachirō in the play Go fūdoki kabuki no hon'yomi 
「梅幸百種之内」「鳥井弥左衛門」「奥平平八郎 市川団十郎」
 Series One Hundred Roles of Baikō 梅幸百種之内 Baikō hyakushu no uchi
 Artist Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900)
 Signature
豊原国周筆 Toyohara Kunichika hitsu with toshidama seal
 Seal 年玉印 toshidama seal (shown above beneath signature)
 Publication Date
1893 明治廿六 月 日
 Publisher
Fukuda Kumajirō 福田熊次郎
seal: Ningyōchō Gusokuya, han 人形丁 具足屋 板
[Marks: pub. ref. 071; seal ref. 26-075]

 Carver
Nisei Hori Ei 二卋 彫栄
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - overall toning, full-size; not backed
 Genre ukiyo-e; yakusha-e
 Miscellaneous
 print number 九十六 96 in the series
 Format vertical oban
 H x W Paper 
 14 3/4 x 10 1/4 in. (37.5 x 26 cm)
 H x W Image
 13 5/8 x 9 3/16 in. (34.6 x 23.3 cm)
 Literature 
 
 Collections This Print
 Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum Waseda University 007-3056, 403-0361, 406-0016; Tokyo Metropolitan Library 5968-086
last revision:
2/17/2020
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