Kataoka Gadō, Nakamura Fukusuke and Iwai Matsunosuke in Hibariyama koma tsunagi matsu

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Kataoka Gadō, Nakamura Fukusuke and

Iwai Matsunosuke in 

Hibariyama koma tsunagi matsu

by Toyohara Kunichika, 1887

IHL Cat. #1230

About This Print

The actors (R to L) Kataoka Gadō III as Teruhi no mae, Nakamura Fukusuke IV as Chūjō hime and Iwai Matsunosuke as Fujinoya (Fujinotani?) in the play Hibariyama koma tsunagi matsu, performed at Tokyo's Nakamuraza theater in September 1887.  In this scene Princess Chūjō is about to be beaten by her evil stepmother Teruhi-no-mae, while her faithful nurse looks on in her snow jacket and sedge hat.

Princes Chūjō

Source: Japan EncyclopediaLouis Frédéric, Käthe Roth, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002, p. 127.

The play Hibariyama kom tsunagi matsu, is a variation on the legend of Princess Chūjō, daughter of Fujiwara no Toyonari, who lived in the 8th century.  Her evil stepmother Teruhi no mae turned her father against her by alleging sexual impropriety by Chūjō.  Depending on the telling of the legend, either her stepmother or her father then ordered a servant to take Chūjō to desolate Hibariyama (the skylark mountain) and kill her. The servant, however, could not bring himself to kill her. Chūjō was to enter a Buddhist monastery where she was reunited with her father and where she hoped to see her stepmother in Paradise. While in the monastery it is said she wove the Taima-mandara, showing images of the paradise of the Pure Land and of Kannon Bosatsu.  

The Kabuki plays Chūjō hime hachisu no mandaraChūjō-hime kyō hiinaChūjō-hime Hibariyama, among others, as well as the Noh plays Hibariyama and Taema and the puppet play Hibariyama himesute matsu are based upon her legend.  All of the plays focus on Chūjō's earlier life and her mistreatment by her stepmother. rather than her time in the monastery.

The Actors Pictured 

For information on the actors see the article The Kabuki Actor on this site.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1230
 Title (Description) The actors (R to L) Kataoka Gadō III as Teruhi no Mae, Nakamura Fukusuke IV as Chūjō hime and Iwai Matsunosuke as Fujinoya (Fujinotani?) in the play Hibariyama koma tsunagi matsu [ひばり山駒絆松樹]
Transcription of the cartouches (R to L):
照日の前 片岡我童   中将姫 中村福助  藤の谷 岩井松之助
 Artist Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900)

Toyohara Kunichika hitsu

 Seal Toshidama seal (年玉印) [see above]
 Publication Date

御届明治廿年九月 日
September 1887
Miyake Hanshirō 三宅半四郎 [Marks: seal not shown; pub. ref. 338]

皇都出版社印 [Kōto* shuppan shain]
This cartouche seems to indicate that the publisher's seal appearing on the print is the "official seal" of the publisher Miyake Hanshirō.
Kōto = "imperial capital (capital where the emperor resides)," namely Tokyo. 
[information courtesy of Art Historian, Lynn Katsumoto]
Hori Yata
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - trimmed to image on all sheets, unbacked, minor soiling; tear left panel lower left repaired from back; vertical center fold center pane
 Genre ukiyo-e; nigao-e; yakusha-e
 Miscellaneousunread seals to the right of the publisher's seal
top seal partial reading ?
bottom seal possibly reading 
 Format vertical oban triptych
 H x W Paper 
 13 3/4 x 9 1/8 in. (34.9 x 23.2 cm) approx. each sheet
 Collections This Print
 National Diet Library 1301334; The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University 201-1244, 1245, 1246 
latest revision: