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

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Onoe Kikugorō V as Torii Tsuneemon

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 Tsuneemon passing through a moat strung with ropes of warning bells on his return to Mikawa, in the play Mikawa gofūdo-ki (The Topographical Records of Mikawa Province). The insert in the top left shows the actor Ichikawa Danjūrō IX in the role of Okudaira Heihachiro in the play.

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

The historical Torii Tsuneemon (1540-1575) 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.

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 <5>尾上 菊五郎 as] Torii Tsuneemon 鳥井強右衛門 [sometimes seen transliterated as Torii Yazaemon] in the play Mikawa gofūdo-ki 三河後風土記
 Series One Hundred Roles of Baikō 梅幸百種之内 Baikō hyakushu no uchi
 Artist Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900)
豊原国周筆 Toyohara Kunichika hitsu with toshidama seal
 Seal 年玉印 toshidama seal
 Publication Date
1893 明治廿六 月 日
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]

Nisei Hori Ei 二卋 彫栄
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - overall toning, full-size; not backed
 Genre ukiyo-e; yakusha-e
 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)
 Collections This Print
 Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum Waseda University 007-3056, 403-0361, 406-0016; Tokyo Metropolitan Library 5968-086