Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) / Toyokuni III (三代豊国)

Print: Iwai Shijaku I (岩井紫若) as Shizuka in Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (義経千本桜)

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Dates: 1828,created
Dimensions: 10.0 in,14.5 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Gototei Kunisada ga
Publisher: Yamamotoya Heikichi
(Marks 595 - seal 04-007)
Censor's seal: kiwame

Related links: Waseda University ;

Physical description:

Kabuki21 gives this historical summary of Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura: “The play ‘Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura’ was originally written for the puppet theater (Bunraku) and staged for the first time in the 11th lunar month of 1747 in Ôsaka at the Takemotoza. It was adapted to Kabuki the following year and staged for the first time in the 1st lunar month of 1748 in Ise with Kataoka Nizaemon IV (Tokaiya Ginpei, Yokawa no Zenji Kakuhan) and Yamamoto Koheiji (Tadanobu). It was performed for the first time in a city licensed theater in the 5th lunar month of 1748, in Edo at the Nakamuraza… ‘Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura’ was performed for the first time in Ôsaka, at the Naka no Shibai, in the 8th lunar month of 1748…”

Kabuki21's summary of Act II, scene 1, the Fushimi Inari Torii Mae or Before the Gate of the Fushimi Inari shrine

"Yoshitsune and some of his followers have fled to Inari Shrine in Fushimi. Yoshitsune's beautiful mistress, Shizuka, arrives pleading to accompany them, but Yoshitsune refuses. To console her, he gives her the tsuzumi drum, and tells her to think of it as part of himself. To stop her from following them, his soldiers tie her to a tree. After they leave, an enemy underling spies her and the drum. She is unable to escape, but Tadanobu, one of Yoshitsune's trusted men appears at a fortuitous moment and rescues her. All this has been observed by Yoshitsune on his way back from worshiping at the shrine, and in gratitude he gives Tadanobu the name Genkurô and entrusts Shizuka's safety into his hands. At this point no one is aware that this Tadanobu is not the real one, but a fox that has disguised itself as Tadanobu in order to be close to the drum, which is made from the skins of its parents. Only the audience has an inking [sic] of this as Tadanobu makes a solo exit down the hanamichi using steps called kitsune roppô-hopping three or four steps on each foot, and curling his fingers under to resemble paws."


This print commemorates a performance at the Ichimura Theater in the 7th month of 1828.

This is the right panel of a diptych (or center panel of triptych) and depicts Iwai Shijaku I in an onnagatta role holding a Sword.

Waseda has two panels