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“Kanya Morita VIII” by Jiro

“Kanya Morita VIII” by Jiro

Regular price ¥16,000 JPY
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This portrait depicts a character that appears in a pantomime short play “HanaAyame Omoino Kanzashi” in the “Adauchi Noriai Banashi” of Kiriza Theater. This picture depicts a moment that an actor takes a posture in the story with maximum feeling of the actor. Because of the pantomime, the costume is gaily and strokes of the lines are very smooth. The majority part of the screen is occupied with the gaily costume: that adds impact as a pantomime play. Also, background biotite provides good balance on the screen. The deep blue kimono with shells pattern, a kimono without sleeves are gray with long thin stripe of dried sea-ear in gray, and the hood is yellow. This combination of colors is unusually complicated in his pictures. The red of color and the underwear’s cuff is balanced well with other cloths. The way he deigned color tone does not have waste. In other words, there is nothing more or less than this combination and balance. Over all that makes the entire work excellent. Furthermore, Kanya’s curved face line, eyes, and mouth are very impressive and attracts us: that is because of Shayaku’s technique. Kanya Morita was from Morita-za Theater, which is one of traditional Edo Three Theaters. He was the eighth generation born in the master’s family in 1759 (Hireki 9) as a son of Kanya V. His first appearance on the stage was 1762 (Horeki 12), he was good at short play. He succeeded in Kanya VIII when he was Matazaburo Bando in 1783 (Tenmei 3). He was both theater proprietor and actor. He gave the position as a theater proprietor of Morita-za Theather to his son, Matakichi in 1791 (Kanei 3) and renamed himself as Yasosuke Bando. He died in November of 1814 (Bunka 11).

 

 

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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