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Yaozō in the role of Kiyomasa


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Yaozō in the role of Kiyomasa

(in a Katō-kiyomasamono)

by Matsuda Seifū, 1915

IHL Cat. #231

About This Print

One of fourteen prints by the artist that appeared in the magazine Shin Nigao whose purpose was to advertise the Kabuki theater and renew interest in actor prints. 

For more information on this short-lived magazine whose purpose was to advertise the Kabuki theater and renew interest in actor prints, see the article Shin Nigao Magazine.

The Actor in the Print

Source: Kabuki 21 website http://www.kabuki21.com/chusha7.php
The actor pictured is likely Ichikawa Yaozō VII, also known as Ichikawa Chūsha VII, born c. 1860 and died 1936.

The Play

Source: Claremont Colleges website  http://ccdl.libraries.claremont.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/cyw&CISOPTR=21
The alleged poisoning of the great warrior Katō Kiyomasa (1562-1611) was the subject of a kabuki play that premiered in 1807, but due to government censorship at the time, the main character's name was changed Sato Masakiyo. According to legend, Masakiyo was summoned to the shoguns's castle in Kyoto and offered a cup of wine, which he knew was poisoned but drank out of loyalty. The lethal mix was slow acting, and allows the actor several dramatic scenes.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #231
 Title/Description  The actor Ichikawa Yaozo in the role of Kiyomasa
清正 Kiyomasa (
八百蔵) Yaozō
 Magazine  Shin Nigao (New Portraits) volume unknown 新似顔 第一年?編
 Matsuda Seifū (1880-1978)
 Seal  Seifū
 Date  1915
 Edition  First and only edition printed in magazine Shin Nigao
 Publisher  Nigaodō 似顔洞
 Carver  Igami Bonkotsu (1875-1933)
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  excellent
 Genre  shin hanga (new prints); nigao-e
 Format  koban
 H x W Paper  7 1/8 x 4 1/2 in. (18.1 x 10.8 cm)
 Collections This Print
 Reference Literature
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