Home‎ > ‎Artists‎ > ‎Ogawa Usen (1868-1938)‎ > ‎

Lady Hagi with a Tree Branch from Woodblock Print Supplements to the Complete Works of Chikamatsu

Fan design sample print, Kneeling Nudes

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Lady Hagi with a Tree Branch

from Woodblock Print Supplements to the

Complete Works of Chikamatsu

by Ogawa Usen, 1922-1923

Fan design sample print, Kneeling Nudes

IHL Cat. #49

About This Print

One of 18 prints published from 1922 to 1923 as part of the celebration of the two-hundredth anniversary of the death of Chikamatsu Manzaemon (1623-1724), perhaps the greatest dramatist in the history of the Japanese theater. Each design illustrates a scene or character from one of Chikamatsu’s famous works.  For more details on this series see Woodblock Print Supplements to the Complete Works of Chikamatsu.

The Play Depicted in the Print

While the literature does not mention which of Chikamatsu's plays is depicted in this print, it may well be a scene from Chikamatsu’s last and longest drama Tethered Steed and the Eight Provinces of Kanto (Kanhasshu tsunagi-uma, 1724).  In the third act there is a scene in which Lady Hagi requests her daughter Eika to join her in killing Lord Yorihara.  While Lady Hagi waits for the cock to crow before attacking Yorihara, she sees a royal party coming and hides.  The Narrator sings and speaks:

The minutes pass like hours.  Will the cock crow now?  She waits and waits for the rosy herald of dawn.  She looks to the east to catch a glimpse of the dawn sky but panics when she sees what looks like the official imperial party, holding up lanterns that shine like stars in the sky. The clatter of fifty horsemen!  Afraid she will be seen and her plan foiled, she removes her wicker hat and nimbly grabs the tree branch [as pictured in this print], hurls her light body upward and climbs onto the wall.1

1 Chikamatsu: 5 Late Plays, C. Andrew Gerstle, Columbia University Press, 2001, p. 399

Print Details
 IHL Catalog  #49
 Title or Description  Lady Hagi with a Tree Branch
 Series  Woodblock Print Supplements to the Complete Works of Chikamatsu
 Dai Chikamatsu zenshu furoku mokuhan 大近松全集 付録木版
 Artist
 Ogawa Usen (1868-1938)
 Signature
芋銭画 Usen ga 
 Seal  unread red artist's seal
 Publication Date  between 1922-1923
 Edition  likely first edition, but the number of editions issued is unknown
 Publisher  Dai Chikamatsu zenshū kankōkai 大近松全集刊行会 (the Complete Work of Chikamatsu Publishing Association)
 Carver  Yamagishi Kazue 1893-1996
 Printer  Nishimura Kumakichi
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  excellent
 Miscellaneous  all prints from this series printed on a light tan-colored paper
 Genre  shin hanga (new prints)
 Format  dai-oban
 H x W Paper  17 x 11 3/8 in. (43.2 x 28.9 cm)
 H x W Image  15 1/2 x 11 in. (39.4 x 27.9 cm) measurement includes gray border
 Collections This Print  The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University 201-0388 and 201-0389
 Reference Literature  

Comments