Utagawa Toyokuni I (初代歌川豊国) (artist 1769 – 02/24/1825)

Ichikawa Yaozō IV (市川八百蔵) as Omuraya Denbei (伝兵衛) and Iwai Kumesaburō I (岩井粂三郎) as the courtesan Oshun (おしゅん) in the play Keisei byōbu ura (A Courtesan: a folding screen and the seashore) (けいせい屏風浦)


Signed: Toyokuni ga (豊国画)
Publisher: Nishimuraya Yohachi (Marks 391 seal 01-008)
Censor seal: kiwame

Mead Art Museum
Lyon Collection - another copy

This play was performed at the Nakamura-za in 7/1800.

This impression is illustrated in color in Hempel, Holzschnittkunst Japans, 1963, #76. Performance listed in Kabuki Nenpyō, v. 5. pp 285-86

Synopsis: The Kyoto merchant Denbei loves the courtesan Oshun of the Gion quarter. One night, Denbei is forced to kill his rival in love, the evil samurai Kanzaemon, and then flee from the police. Oshun's family attempts to protect her from the scandal and the certainty that she and Denbei will take their own lives to atone for their illicit love, but they cannot overcome the lovers' devotion to one another. Denbei and Oshun finally escape along a road at night, and then commit double suicide.


Oshun was Yojirō the monkey trainer's sister who was indentured into prostitution. (See the link to Yojirō below to learn more of the story.)
Yojirō (与次郎) the monkey trainer (role)
actor prints (yakusha-e - 役者絵) (genre)
Nishimuraya Yohachi (西村屋与八) (publisher)
Ichikawa Yaozō IV (四代目市川八百蔵) (actor)
Iwai Tojaku (岩井杜若) (actor)