Artist: Utagawa Kunihiro (歌川国広)

Print: Iwai Shijaku I (岩井紫若) as the courtesan Minoya Sankatsu (みの屋三勝), jumping into a boat from a bridge to join her lover Arashi Rikan II (嵐璃寛) as Akaneya Hanshichi (赤根屋半七) in the play Daigashira Midori no Iromaku [台頭緑色幕]

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Dates: 1834,created
Dimensions: 20.0 in,14.75 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: color woodblock print

Signed: Kunihiro ga (国廣画)
Publisher: Tenmaya Kihei (Marks 536 - seal 21-193)

Related links: Victoria and Albert Museum; Tokyo Metropolitan Libary - 1825 diptych of the same theme by Toyoshige; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - 1831 version by Kunisada; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - 1821 version by Yoshikuni ; Hankyu Culture Foundation - 1825 Kunisada version - right panel; Hankyu Culture Foundation - 1825 Kunisada version - left panel; Art Institute of Chicago - ca. 1798-99 Utamaro print of Sankatsu and Hanshichi; Lyon Collection - an 1828 Shigeharu print of Akaneya Hanshichi;

Physical description:

" "Sankatsu and Hanshichi" is the popular name of plays for both the puppet and Kabuki stages, treating the suicide of lovers of the same name. The real-life incident on which the plays are based took place in 1695, when Sankatsu, adopted daughter of Minoya Heizaemon of Nagamachi in Osaka, and Akaney Hanshichi of Gojō in Yamato Province, commited love-suicide together in the Namba district fo Osaka. The most famous theatrical version of the story is the play Hade sugata onna mai-ginu, first performed in 1772."

Quoted from: The Passionate Art of Kitagawa Utamaro by Asano and Clark, text volume, p. 207.


A wonderful and dynamic composition with fresh and startling colors. This diptych commemorates a performance at the Naka Theater in Osaka in 1834. The curatorial notes from the Victoria and Albert Museum note that: "The play concerns a domestic tragedy involving a man who has left his wife for a courtesan. This scene shows them starting off on a boat journey towards a double suicide..." This scene comes at the end of Act I and shows Akaneya Hanshichi heating himself by a brazier in the boat.


Illustrated in color in Ukiyo-e Masterpieces in European Collection 5: Victoria and Albert Museum II, Kodansha, 1989, #144.