The Actors Iwai Hanshirō VIII, Ichikawa Danjūrō IX and Bandō Kakitsu in the play Jiraiya gōketsu monogatari

Morikawa Chikashige (active 1869 - January 1882)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

The Actors Iwai Hanshirō VIII, Ichikawa Danjūrō IX and Bandō Kakitsu

in the play Jiraiya gōketsu mongatari

by Morikawa Chikashige, 1881

Morikawa Chikashige (active 1869 - January 1882)

IHL Cat. #1225

About This Print

The actors Iwai Hanshirō VIII 岩井半四郎 in the role of the princess Tagoto hime 田毎姫;Ichikawa Danjūrō IX 市川団十郎 in the role of Jiraiya 田毎姫 and Bandō Kakitsu 坂東 家橘 in the role of Takasago Yūminosuke 高砂勇美之助 ine play Jiraiya gōketsu mongatari 児雷也豪傑物語, performed at the Shintomi-za 新富 theater, Tokyo, in August 1881 (Meiji 14).

The Play Jiraiya gōketsu monogatari by Kawatake Mokuami

Source: website of the Japan Arts Council

The play Jiraiya gōketsu monogatari is drawn from an episodic illustrated novel published in multiple volumes from 1839 to 1868. The play, written by Kawatake Mokuami (1816-1893), was first performed in July 1852 at the Kawarazaki-za in Edo.

As an infant, Jiraiya’s noble family is slain by Tsukikage, lord of Echigo province and regent of the Shogun who has been led astray by his adopted son Orochimaru.  Tsukikage adopted Orochimaru after being saved by him from an attack by a giant snake.  However, Orochimaru is possessed with the evil snake spirit and eventually kills Tsukikage and comes to rule Echigo.  Jiraiya, who along with Tsunate-hime princess of another noble family killed by Tsukikage, has been saved from death by a mountain hermit who teaches them both magic – toad magic in the case of Jiraiya and slug magic in the case of Tsunate-hime.  They both vow to take revenge upon Orochimaru.  Capturing a magical sword they attack Orochimaru, who attempts suicide but is saved by Takasago Yūminosuke, a high ranking officer for the Shogun.  Yūminosuke wants to visit a harsh punishment on Orochimaru for his evil deeds, but Jiraiya and Tsunate-hima tell him that Orochimaru’s evil spirit has now been exorcised by the sword.  Orochimaru departs in peace.

The character princess Tagoto is the unwilling object of Orochimaru’s affection, who wants her for his wife.

The Actors Pictured and Their Roles

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

Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #1225
 Title (Description)  The actors Iwai Hanshirō VIII, Ichikawa Danjūrō IX and Bandō Kakitsu in the play Jiraiya gōketsu monogatari (The Heroic Tales of Jiraiya)
 Artist  Morikawa Chikashige (active 1869 - January 1882)

Morikawa Chikashige hitsu
画工 (artist)
Morikawa Otojirō
(as shown to the right of publisher cartouche)

 Seal  Toshidama seal below signature
 Publication Date
抑届 明治十四年八月
august 1881
松村弁次郎 Matsumura Benjirō [Marks: publisher and seal not shown]
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good - trimmed to image; 3 separate panels; rubbing; soiling, particularly in the right panel; minor ink offsetting; some remnants of previous backing paper
 Genre  ukiyo-e; yakusha-e
 Format  vertical oban triptych
 H x W Paper 
 left: 14 1/4 x 9 5/8 (36.2 x 24.4 cm); center 14 3/8 x 9 5/8 (36.5 x 24.4 cm); right:14 1/4 x 9 11/16 (36.2 x 24.6 cm)
 H x W Image  left: 14 1/16 x 9 3/8 (35.7 x 23.8 cm); center: 14 1/16 x 9 7/16 (35.7 x 24 cm); right 14 1/8 x 9 1/2 (35.9 x 24.1 cm)
 Collections This Print