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Monnosuke Ichikawa II as Dateno Yosaku

Monnosuke Ichikawa II as Dateno Yosaku

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This portrait depicts fully of the characteristic of a man who falls in love with Shigenoi who is a breast-feeding woman of the family baby. It seems to be a simple picture and non-policy weak man whose inside is na?ve and is driven away from the family. Sharaku illustrates the characteristics, atmosphere, appearance, and tone of the cloths, that represents Sharaku’s depiction technique and depth. His timidly eyes, expression around his mouth to hold the sadness, hesitating right hand: all of these have significant serious feeling and color tone of the kimono creates the atmosphere of a fop man. A light purple kimono with double layers yellow and light crimson underwear: this combination of light tone of the kimono tells everything about this character. Monnosuke Ichikawa II was an adopted son of Monnosuke I. He fllowed Danjyuro Ichikawa IV and named himself as Benzo and succeeded in Monnosuke II in 1770. his appearance was gorgeous and stage performance was gaily: he was a popular actor mostly disguised with a fop man. The review says, “He seems to be favor of playing a brave character, but he fits in acting a passionate role”: obviously he played a brave role at Ichikawa School. He died in October of 1794 (Kansei 6) at the age of 52.

 

 

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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