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Hanshiro Iwai IV as Menoto Shigeoi

Hanshiro Iwai IV as Menoto Shigeoi

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This work depicts Menoto Shigenoi appears as a female main character at “KoiNyobo Somewake Taduna” played by Kawarasaki-za Theather in May of 1794 (Kansei 6). Shigenoi and Dateno Yosaku, her lover, their relationship was revealed. He was fired and Sadanoshin Takemora, his father committed seppuku suicide, Yonosuke, their only son, becomes a horse driver. He names himself as Sankichi of natural born. When Shigenoi escorted her princess goes down to Irima Family in Hamamatsu as an adopted daughter, she meets Sankichi of a horse drive of natural born on the way to there. Because of her mission as an usher, she cannot unite with Sankichi as a mother and son, and she has to leave. This picture illustrates the moment of the episode. This work illustrates Hanshiro Iwai IV; he was admired with Kikunojo Segawa III as a best female role actor at that time. This would be one of the best half body female role portrait works Sharaku did: it is because Sharaku fully depicted the significance of Hanshiro. This portrait pervades the warm characteristics of Shigenoi as a menoto (breast-feeding mother of highborn baby). Her kimono’s combinations, light crimson fan with butterfly in white and light green long over garment with crimson inner, are simple; however, she seems to be settle down, an amulet case in her hand sets calmly, and her appearance makes us feel some dignity who works for the daimyo’s family. He was written: “ An actor who has both beauty and quality” in the review at that time. That is definitely tells about him.

 

 

Sharaku Toshusai(birth and death dates unknown)

Birth and death dates unknown.

In 1794 (Kansei 6), Sharaku came into sudden prominence, produced more than 140 ukiyo-e paintings during the mere ten months of his activity as an ukiyo-e painter, and then disappeared forever. For his debut work, he used the large, o-ban printing size, and expensive biotitic background printing, which was unusual. Juzaburo Tsutaya, a publisher, enthusiastically promoted Sharaku after Utamaro had left him. Meanwhile, the printing size was getting smaller. One of the major reasons for this was that Sharaku’s way of drawing actors as they were, regardless of their popularity, was not accepted by people of the era. However, each of his portraits is full of energetic impression and gives a positive impact. Because of this, he also received high acclaim from abroad.

 

Selections of Sharaku Toshusai

Sharaku Toshusai(birth and death dates unknown)

One of the reasons why Sharaku’s works are precious is that so few exist. Unfortunately, his art was recognized abroad before it gained popularity in Japan. While the Japanese were blind to his talent, many of the works ended up abroad and were praised. Some of the works were brought back to Japan as part of the Matsukata Collection in 1943 (Showa 18), which increased the number of his popular works in Japan. These forty works were reissued from the collection. Each of them represents one of Sharaku’s great masterpieces.

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