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Tōzō in the role of Susanoo no Mikoto

 

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Tōzō in the role of Susanoo no Mikoto

(in the play Nippon Furisode Hajima)

by Natori Shunsen, 1915

 
IHL Cat. #581

About This Print

This print appears on the cover of the last issue (#5) of the magazine Shin Nigao, published in November 1915.  It is one of 30 prints (including 2 cover prints and 1 frontispiece) designed by Natori Shunsen for the five issues of the magazine.  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.

Shunsen has designed a dynamic bust portrait of the actor Nakamura Tōzō V in the role of Susanoo no Mikoto,
younger brother of the sun goddess Amaterasu in Shintō mythology, for the cover of this last issue.  The table of contents further identifies this print as depicting the character Susanoo in the play Nippon Furisode Hajime which played at the Imperial Theater in November 1915.  In the play Susanoo and a dragon fight viciously for the life of a princess, who the dragon has consumed.  The princess uses a sword she found in the dragon's tail to cut herself free through its belly with Susanoo striking a fatal blow to the dragon, in a final defiant pose as the curtain closes.2

1 British Museum website http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/asia/k/kawanabe_ky%C5%8Dsai,_susanoo_no_m.aspx


The Actor in the Print - Nakamura Tōzō V

Source: Kabuki 21 website http://www.kabuki21.com/ntozo.php
The actor Ōtani Tomoemon VI held the name of Nakamura Tōzō V from November 1911 to March 1920.  For additional information on
Ōtani Tomoemon VI see the article The Kabuki Actor.

The Last Issue of Shin Nigao, No. 5 新似顔 第一年第五編

The last issue of Shin Nigao contained twenty-one prints - ten portraits of actors performing in plays staged in October and November of 1915 at the Ichimura-za, Kabuki-za and Shintomi-za, five prints commemorating the November enthronement ceremonies for Emperor Yoshihito (Emperor Taishō), five portraits of famous geisha and the cover print.

The colophon provides the date of printing as Taisho 4, 10th month, 28th day (October 28, 1915) and the date of registration as Taisho 4, 11th month, 1st day (November 11, 1915).1

1 My thanks to CPS on the Ukiyo-e Q&A site http://www.ukiyo-e.se/wwwboard/wwwboard.html for this information.

 
Source: website of Saru Gallery
http://www.sarugallery.com/default.php?L=4&NR=2995
click on pages to enlarge
front inside cover - table of contents listing contributors and their works.
possibly a poem by
Yosano Akiko
與謝野晶子 (1878-1942)


rear inside cover
(colophon)

rear outside cover

Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #581
 Title  The actor Nakamura Tōzō V (中村東蔵) in the role of Susanoo no Mikoto (素盞嗚尊) in the play Nippon Furisode Hajime.
Note: the kanji characters are those appearing in the two cartouches in the lower left of the print.

 Magazine  Shin Nigao (New Portraits) volume five 新似顔 第一年五編
 Catalogue Raisonné  Not numbered but shown on page 91.
 Artist
 Natori Shunsen (1886-1960)
 Signature
 Shunsen
 Seal  
 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
 Miscellaneous
 entry in table of contents for Issue #5 of Shin Nigao

表紙            
帝國劇塲      
十一月狂言    
[日本振袖始]   (
にほんふりそではじめ)
東蔵          
(素盞嗚尊) 
hyōshi (front cover)
Teikoku gekijō (Imperial Theater)
November Kyōgen (November Plays)
Nippon Furisode Hajime
Tōzō
Susanoo no Mikoto
 Genre  shin hanga (new prints); nigao-e
 Format  koban
 H x W Paper  print size: 7 1/8 x 4 1/2 in. (18.1 x 11.4 cm)
 cover size: 9 3/4 x 7 5/16 in. (24.8 x 18.6 cm)
 Collections This Print  
 Reference Literature Catalogue Raisonné – Ukiyoe Kabuki Gi Han Ga: Shunsen Natori (The Skill of Natori Shunsen in Kabuki Prints), Kushigata Municipal Shunsen Museum, Kushigata, Japan, 1991, p. 91.
last revision:
11/19/2018
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