Utagawa Toyokuni I (初代歌川豊国) (artist 1769 – 02/24/1825)
Samawura Gennosuke I (澤村源之助) in the role of Miuranosuke Yoshiaki (三浦之介義明) in the play Kamakura sandaiki or Three Generations of Kamakura Shoguns - 鎌倉三代記
9.875 in x 14.75 in (Overall dimensions) Japanese woodblock print
Signed: Toyokuni ga (豊国画)
Publisher: Mikawaya Seiemon (Marks 328 seal 16-011)
Censor's seal: kiwame
Japan Arts Council - photograph and background in Japanese of this play This character is from a play "...dealing with the fall of Osaka Castle, but placing the action in the medieval Kamakura period (1185-1333) because of legal restrictions upon dramatizing recognizable events related to the samurai of the Edo period. The battle of Osaka Castle was dramatized in many plays, including Ōmi Genji Senjin Yakata, to which the present work is occasionally described as a sequel. Like that play, it hints that Hōjō Tokimasa is Tokugawa Ieyasu, Sasaki Takatsuna is Sanada Yukimura, Miuranosuke is Kimura Shigenari, and Princess Toki is Princess Sen. Also, Kyoto stands in for Osaka and Kamakura for Edo."
Quoted from: The New Kabuki Encyclopedia by Samuel L. Leiter, p. 264.
"In action often cut before the main part begins, Nagano, mother of the young Genji warrior Sakamoto Miuranosuke Yoshimura, is ill in her cottage at Kimgawa Village on Lake Biwa, not far from where her son is engaged in the battle of Sakamoto Castle. Miuranosuke is engaged to Princess Toki, daughter of his current enemy, the Heike general Hōjō Tokimasa. Tokimasa sends for Toki to leave the household of her enemy, but Nagano, who is being cared for by Toki, does not allow her to depart. Toki, believing her duty is to her future husband and not to her father, refuses to leave. When two ladies-in-waiting, who have come to fetch her, see the kind of menial work she does for Nagano, they decide to force her to return with them." The Genji general Sasaki Takatsuna goes to force Toki to return to her father. He disguises himself as a farmer and sends the ladies-in-waiting back to their castle so he can do the job himself. He lies in wait after they depart. (Ibid., p. 265)
"The seriously wounded Miuranosuke comes running from the battle to his mother's bedside, fighting off attackers as he makes his way home. He faints, only to be revived by Toki, who presence at the cottage surprises but delights him. Nagano rejects him, claiming that he must be a fox-spirit, as not warrior would leave in the middle of a battle, but if it really is he, she will disown him for behaving so sentimentally. He sadly prepares to leave but Toki, thinking she may never see him again, begs him to remain the night. It is his mother's suffering, though, that convinces him to return."
The rest of the play is increasingly convoluted with suicides, attempted suicides, ever-shifting plot themes, and an assassination which is actually a case of mistaken identity followed by another suicide. A damned bloody mess everywhere and in all things. And, to top it off Miuranosuke has died too of his wounds. The end. (Ibid.)
There are three prints and one photograph in the Lyon Collection that deal with the play Kamakura Sandaiki (鏡倉三代記). Two are Shibakuni battledore/actor Osaka prints and one is by Toyokuni I seen here.
Pants? Chaps? Trousers? Leggings? Sheaths?
One of the most striking features of this print is the actor's costume in which he is clearly wearing animal skin hides which are dragging on the ground behind them. This item must have a name in Japanese, but so far we don't know what it is. It must have also functioned as a bit of protection to the back of the warriors legs, but again we don't know enough to be sure. However, this use of animal skins appears in at least three different prints in the Lyon Collection. We have added two additional jpegs below the main image on this page so you can see where else these appear.
Mikawaya Seiemon (三河屋清右衛門) (publisher)
actor prints (yakusha-e - 役者絵) (genre)
mitate-e (見立て絵) (genre)
Sawamura Gennosuke I (初代沢村源之助: 1/1791 to 10/1811) (actor)