An image of The actors Ichikawa Kodanji IV as the ghost of Kozakura Tôgô and as the tea server Inba, actually the ghost of Tôgô (R), Bandô Hikosaburô IV as Orikoshi Tairyô, Iwai Kumesaburô III as the secret mistress Katsuragi, and Ichikawa Kodanji IV as Koshimoto Sakuragi, actually the ghost of Tôgô (L)

Utagawa Kuniyoshi

(Japan 1797 – 1861)

The actors Ichikawa Kodanji IV as the ghost of Kozakura Tôgô and as the tea server Inba, actually the ghost of Tôgô (R), Bandô Hikosaburô IV as Orikoshi Tairyô, Iwai Kumesaburô III as the secret mistress Katsuragi, and Ichikawa Kodanji IV as Koshimoto Sakuragi, actually the ghost of Tôgô (L)

Location
Major exhibition gallery
Further information

Utagawa Kuniyoshi was an artist famed for his extraordinary illustrations of scenes from literature and legend as well as the popular Japanese theatre. He was also a teacher of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi and Kawanabe Kyôsai.

A scene from a kabuki play of 1851, the sheet on the right shows the actor Ichikawa Kodanji IV as the ghost of Kozakura Tôgô and as the ghost of the tea server (chadô). Shown on the left are the actors Bandô Hikosaburô IV as Orikoshi Tairyô, Iwai Kumesaburô III as the secret mistress (Myô) Katsuragi, and Ichikawa Kodanji IV as Koshimoto Sakuragi (actually the ghost of Tôgô). The play was based on true events of 1653, with the names of the characters changed to avoid censorship. It is the only known kabuki about political protest and the plight of farmers whose livelihoods were destroyed by greedy shogun. Kozakura (Asakura) Tôgô, the mayor of the devastated town, confronts the shogun about the situation, knowing that his stance will result in his death and that of his family. After death, he haunts those responsible for the suffering of his townspeople.

Year
1851
Media
Print
Medium
woodblock print; ink and colour on paper
Dimensions
37.7 x 52.2 cm
Credit
Yasuko Myer Bequest Fund
Accession number
141.2019