Artist: Utagawa Toyokuni I (初代歌川豊国)

Print: Bandō Shūka 坂東しうか or 坂東志うか (poetry name of Mitsugorō III - 秀佳) - portraying the character Kōguya Yahei [香具や弥兵衛] - probably from the play Chūkō Ōiso ga Yoi (?) (忠孝染分纏 - ちゅうこうおおいそがよい)

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Dates: 1820,created
Dimensions: 9.75 in,14.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Toyokuni ga
Publisher: Oyama Hangorō (Marks #426 - seal 01-093)
Censor’s seal: kiwame

Related links: Philadelphia Museum of Art - 1830 Shigeharu diptych showing Kōguya Yahei on the left panel; Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art - Toyokuni I diptych by the same publisher showing the same character; Waseda University - 1831 ehon publication of 'Kejōbumi ataru sugatami';

Physical description:

Kōguya Yahei was prominently represented in an 1831 ehon publication, Kejōbumi ataru sugatami (戯場稿本当現建). The text is Utei Enba and the illustrations are by Kunisada. (See the link above.)

The link to the example in the Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art confirms our identification of the role of this actor. Despite the differences between the two prints - ours stands out in a bare field, while theirs has the elements of a kabuki stage set - both men are wearing the same costume, but in somewhat different poses and the publisher is the same. (JSV)