Ichikawa Danjūrō IX as Kirare Yozō from the series One Hundred Roles of Ichikawa Danjūrō

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Ichikawa Danjūrō IX as Kirare Yosa

from the series One Hundred Roles

of Ichikawa Danjūrō

by Toyohara Kunichika, 1898

Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900)

IHL Cat. #2166

About This Print

The actor Ichikawa Danjūrō IX (1838-1903) as Kirare Yosa in the play Yowa Nasake Ukina no Yokogushi. As in keeping with the rest of the series, extensive embossing is employed in the background - see detail below.

For a profile of Ichikawa Danjūrō IX please see the article The Kabuki Actor and for a fascinating interview with the actor see Interview with Ichikawa Danjūrō IX.

The Play "Yowa Nasake Ukina no Yokogushi"
Source: website of NHK World, Kabuki Kool https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/tv/kabukikool/kabuki_program_2.html#yosa
Commonly called Kirare Yosa (Scarface Yosa), this popular play first written in 1863 presents the sotry of Yosa (Yosaburo), " the handsome son of a wealthy merchant who falls in love with Otomi, the mistress of a gang boss after a chance encounter on the beach at Kisarazu. But their love affair is discovered and Otomi is thrown into the sea and Yosaburo is cut all over his body before also being dumped into the sea. But both survive. Otomi is kept as a mistress by a wealthy merchant and Yosaburo goes with his friend Yasu, the Bat to extort money. Yosaburo uses his scars to scare people and encourage them to give money to get rid of him. One day Yasu takes Yosaburo to Otomi's house and Yosaburo is astonished that Otomi, whom he thought dead, is alive and living in comfort, seemingly having forgotten all about him. Yosaburo pours out all his love and resentment in a famous speech about how an ill-fated love ruined his life."

The Series One Hundred Roles of Ichikawa Danjūrō

Source: Time Present and Time Past: Images of a Forgotten Master: Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900), Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing, 1999, p. 127 and 26.

"In 1893 Kunichika undertook a commission for two series of single-sheet portraits that were each dedicated to an individual actor.  The first of these, One hundred roles of Danjūrō, featured the major roles of Ichikawa Danjūrō IX (1838-1903) in a set of half-length portraits.  A square cartouche in the upper register of each print contains a verse or illustration, and the series title cartouche is backed by peonies, a flower associated with Danjūrō IX."

“While his best-known pieces from this period are triptychs, Kunichika produced some outstanding series of single-sheet portraits, such as the One hundred roles of Ichikawa Danjuro IX (Ichikawa Danjuro engei hyakuban) and One hundred roles of Baiko (Baiko hyakushu no uchi).   Like Kunisada’s set of ‘large-head’ portraits, Kunichika’s two series may be regarded as ‘monuments to his [Kunichika’s] career’.  Whilst Kunisada attempted an overview of all the greatest actors of the age, Kunichika’s two series focus on the Kabuki doyens, Ichikawa Danjuro IX and Onoe Kikugoro V.

The publisher Fukuda Kumajiro (together with Gusokuya Kahei) commissioned Kunichika to begin work on the One hundred roles of Ichikawa Danjuro IX in 1893.  The series was completed posthumously in 1903, the year of the actor’s death and under the supervision of Fukuda Shojiro (d. 1925.)  The prints in the series were sumptuously printed using expensive materials and techniques.  Each image documents the actor’s most successful roles; a text or illustration appears in the upper register.”

detail of embossing in background and scarf
(click on image to enlarge)

Variant Printing

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #2166
 Title (Description) Ichikawa Danjūrō 市川団十郎 as Kirare Yozō きられ与三 [in the play Yowa Nasake Ukina no Yokogushi 與話情浮名横櫛]
 Series One Hundred Roles of Ichikawa Danjūrō
 市川団十郎演芸百番 Ichikawa Danjūrō engei hyakuban
 Artist Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900)
国周 Kunichika hitsu
 Seal Toshidama seal 年玉印 [see above]
 Publication Date
March 1898 (明治卅一年三月 日 印刷仝月 日発行 )
Printed and published March 1898
 Publisher Fukuda Kumajirō 

right (printer and publisher): 臨写印刷兼発行者

center (publisher's address): 東京日本橋区長谷川町十九番地
19 banchi Hasegawa-chō, Nihonbashi-ku, Tokyo

left (publisher's name and telephone number):
福田熊次郎 電話浪花 二九四
Fukuda Kumajirō Phone naniwa 294

[Marks: pub. ref. 071; seal not shown]

hori Yata 彫弥太 [Watanabe Yatarō 彫工渡辺弥太郎 (1850-1913)]
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - full size; backed; minor soiling; fading of inscriptions in left margin
 Genre ukiyo-e; yakusha-e
 Format vertical oban
 H x W Paper
 15 1/4 x 9 15/16 in. (37.1 x 25.1 cm)
 H x W Image
 13 1/16 x 8 7/16 in. (33 x 21.9 cm)
 Collections This Print
 Honolulu Museum of Art 265117; Waseda University Cultural Resource Database 007-1807
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