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Jōruri Chūshingura Nidanme Sannin Yakko from the play Chushingura Sugata no Eawase

The actors Bandō Hikosaburō V as Ukiyo Tohai, Ichimura Kakitsu IV as Nozarashi Gosuke and Ichikawa Danzō VI as Rokuji Namuemon

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Jōruri Chūshingura Nidanme Sannin Yakko

[from the play Chushingura Sugata no Eawase]

by Utagawa Kunisada II, 1865

Shichidanme (Act VII) from the series Jōruri Chūshingura

IHL Cat. #971

About This Print

This print depicts the actors (from right to left) Ichimura Kakitsu IV (市村家橘) as Momonoi's servant Kitsuhei (桃ノ井下部橘平), Bandō Hikosaburō V (坂東彦三郎) as Momonoi's servant Tsurubei (桃ノ井下部鶴平), and Sawamura Tosshō II (沢村訥升) as Momonoi's servant Kinohei (桃ノ井下部紀之平) in a performance from the 2nd act of the play Chūshingura Sugata no Eawase which played at the Ichimura-za on May 7, 1865.

The print's title in the blue cartouche in the center panel reads 浄瑠璃忠臣蔵 二段め 三人奴, which loosely translates to a "a narrative performance of Chūshingura, the three servants in the 2nd act."  The entries for this print in the databases of Ritsumeikan University's Art Research Database and the The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University, both identify the play as Chūshingura Sugata no Eawase, although the play's complete title is not shown on the print.

At the beginning of the 2nd act in Chūshingura, Momonoi Wakanosuke's servants stand outside his mansion in the garden gossiping about Moronao's humiliation of their master, essentially recounting events from the first act.  

The play Chūshingura Sugata no Eawase by Kawatake Mokuami, is based on the classic Kanadehon Chūshingura and had is debut in 1865 as a dance program at the Ichimura theater in Tokyo.

A number of prints were created by different artists showing different acts and scenes from this play. Below is Toyohara Kunichika's (1835–1900) triptych showing the same three actors getting drunk in another scene from the 2nd act.

Actors Bandô Hikosaburô V as Tsurubei (R), Sawamura Tosshô II as Kinohei (C),
and Ichimura Kakitsu IV as Kitsuhei (L), in the Scene of the Three Drunks (Sannin namayoi no ba)
from Act II of The Storehouse of Loyal Retainers (Chûshingura Sandanme)
Play: Chûshingura Sugata no Eawase
Theater: Ichimura
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Accession Number 11.41735a-c

To read more about the representations of Chūshingura in woodblock prints see the article on this site Chūshingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers) in Woodblock Prints.

The Actors in the Print

For background on the actors Bandō Hikosaburō V, Ichimura Kakitsu IV and Sawamura Tosshō II see their respective entries in the article The Kabuki Actor on this site.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #971
 Title Jōruri Chūshingura Nidan me Sannin Yakko [from the play Chūshingura Sugata no Eawase] 浄瑠璃忠臣蔵 二段め 三人奴 [忠臣蔵形容画合]
A Jōruri Performance of Chūshingura 2nd act Three Servants [from the play Chūshingura Sugata no Eawase]
 Series n/a
 Utagawa Kunisada II (1823-1880)
Kunisada ga (on each sheet) 国貞画
 Seal Toshidama seal (年玉の印) in red ink under the signature
 Publication Date
1865 (Genji 2/Keiō 1), 4th month
丑四改 sign of the ox 4 aratame

Yamamotoya Heikichi 山本屋平吉, seal reading 久 Kyū [Marks: seal 04-007; pub. ref. 595]
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - three separate panels; minor soiling; vertical centerfold each sheet
 Genre ukiyo-eyakusha-e
 Format vertical oban triptych
 H x W Paper 14 x 9 7/8 in. (35.6 x 25.1 cm) each sheet
 Collections This Print The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University 100-0965, 100-0966, 100-0967; Art Research Center Ritsumeikan University arcUP1313, UP1314, UP1315

 Reference Literature
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