Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) / Toyokuni III (三代豊国) (artist 1786 – 01/12/1865)
Bandō Shinsui V (坂東薪水) as An no Heibei (安ノ平兵衛) an otokodate [男伊達] from series of 5 actors with umbrellas
9.9 in x 14.75 in (Overall dimensions)
Signed: konome ni makasete
hachijūhachisai Toyokuni ga
Publisher: Maruya Kyūshirō
(Marks 298 - seal 01-064)
Carver: Hori Dai
Combined censor and seal: aratame 1864/11
Lyon Collection - a print of Kaminari Shōkurō from this series
Lyon Collection - a print of Karigane Bunshichi from this series
National Museum of Japanese History (via Ritsumeikan University) Kawatake Mokuami wrote the play Shiranami Gonin Otoko in 1862. In the second act all five otokodate appear carrying umbrellas. In an article in the Japan Times from April 14, 2004 Rei Sasaguchi wrote:
"Act II closes with a glorious “presentation” of the five gallantly dressed men, who stand under blossoming trees on the bank of the Inase River, holding umbrellas on which is written “shiranami.” Each man delivers a brief self-introduction, before starting to fight a troop of policemen."
Elsewhere Sasaguchi wrote: "Shira-nami, meaning white waves, is the Japanese reading of two Chinese characters bai-bo. After the Chronicle of the Latter Han Dynasty (25-220) gave the label “baibo” to a group of bandits living in the Baibo Gorge, Shanxi Province, the term came to be used for men who made their living by theft or extortion. In this sense it was transferred to Japan."
Bandō Shinsui V (五代目坂東薪水) is better known as Bandō Hikasaburō V who acted under this name from 1856-77. Shinsui V was his poetry name and this is how he appears here in 1864.
The otokodate frequently carried shakuhachi flutes both for playing and to as symbols of their authority because they often used them as weapons. In this image the 'puppet' is carrying it on his back and can be seen partially poking out near his right shoulder. (JSV)
Maruya Kyūshirō (丸屋久四郎) (publisher)
Bandō Hikosaburō V (五代目坂東彦三郎: 3/1856 to 10/1877) (actor)
actor prints (yakusha-e - 役者絵) (genre)
Otokodate - chivalrous men (男伊達) (genre)
Shiranami Gonin Otoko (白浪五人男) (kabuki)