Kunihira (國平) (artist )
Asao Kigan (浅尾鬼丸) as Shibukawa Tōma (渋川藤馬) left-hand panel of a diptych - from the play Shin Usuyuki monogatari
9.5 in x 14.25 in (Overall dimensions) Japanese woodblock print
Signed: Kunihira ga (国平画)
Publisher: Tenmaya Kihei
(the name 'Tenki' appears on the
umbrella in the lower right hand corner)
Prints of Japan
Shibukawa Tōma was originally a role in a puppet play, Shin Usuyuki monogatari (新薄雪物語). It was based on a novel from 1632 called The Tale of Usuyuki. Versions of this theme first appeared on the kabuki stage in 1685. This is surely from a later adaptation. Tōma is the servant of the villain Daizen who orders him to spy on Usuyuki and the man she loves. Tōma then has a fight with his rival for the attention of one of Usuyuki's ladies-in-waiting. Right before the play ends Tōma gets into another fight with a different set of characters and is slain. And good riddance!
This information is taken directly from Prints of Japan.
There is a reference to a print by Kunihira of this same actor in the collection of the Prefectural Library in Osaka. It is unillustrated online, but may well be another copy of this one in the Lyon Collection.
The full diptych is illustrated in color in Schätze der Kamigata: Japanische Farbholzschnitte aus Osaka 1780-1880, MNHA (Musée national d'histoire et d'art Luxembourg), p. 226, #482..
Kyōto-Osaka prints (kamigata-e - 上方絵) (genre)
actor prints (yakusha-e - 役者絵) (genre)
Asao Kigan (浅尾鬼丸) (actor)
Tenmaya Kihei (天満屋喜兵衛) (publisher)