Artist: Shunkōsai Hokushū (春好斎北洲)

Print: Nakamura Utaemon III (中村歌右衛門) in His Last Appearance as Gotōbei (五斗兵衛) from the series Hits of a Lifetime (Issei ichidai atari kyōgen - 一世一代当狂言)

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Dates: created,1825
Dimensions: 9.5 in,14.75 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed:Shunkōsai Hokushū ga
Publisher: Honya Seishichi (Marks 123 - seal 25-527)

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Waseda University; Hankyu Culture Foundation;

Physical description:

Nakamura Utaemon III as Gotōbei in the play Yoshitsune Koshigoejō (義経腰越状) performed at the Kado Theatre, 3rd month 1825. For another (later) impression see Schwaab, Osaka Prints, p. 106, #75. This superb print uses extensive use of expensive gauffrage, lacquer, gold and silver metallic pigments.


Illustrated in black and white in Ukiyo-e Masterpieces in European Collections: Musées Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire, Brussels, vol. 9, Kodansha, 1989, p. 205, #130.


Illustrated in Ikeda Bunko, Kamigata yakusha-e shūsei (Collected Kamigata Actor Prints), vol. 1, Ikeda Bunko Library, Osaka 1997, no. 164.

There are two other prints from this series of 5 in the Lyon Collection - see numbers 355 and 374.


The term issei ichidai (一世一代) on another print of Nakamura Utaemon III in the Lyon Collection. That one is by Kunisada. See #440.

"Both issei and ichidai are ways of saying 'a human life,' and their use together gives greater weight than would either word used alone. It demonstrates traditionally given in Japan to the lifework of a serious artist."

Quoted from: The New Kabuki Encyclopedia by Samuel L. Leiter, p. 226.