Onoe Kikugorō V as Yashio from the series One Hundred Roles of Baikō

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Onoe Kikugorō V as Yashio

from the series One Hundred Roles of Baikō

by Toyohara Kunichika, 1893

Ichikawa Danjūrō IX as Mongaku Shonin from the series One Hundred Roles of Ichikawa Danjuro

IHL Cat. #2052

About This Print

The actor Onoe Kikugorō V (1844-1903) in the role of Yashio and, in the top inset, Ichikawa Danjūrō IX as Masaoka in the play Meiboku sendaihagi (“The Precious Flowers and Autumn Incense of Sendai”). 

The Precious Flowers and Autumn Incense of Sendai
"The highlight of this play is the suffering of Masaoka(政岡) who is torn between love for her child and loyalty to her lord.

Masaoka is the wet nurse of her young lord. Her little son also serves the lord. She prevents her lord from eating served meals for fear of poisoning and [serves him] boiled rice with utensils for tea ceremony. She is a mother but [also] the guardian of her lord. Her lord is a child but the lord of the domain. Her son is a child [and the lord's] retainer. While she praises her lord, she gets tough with her son.

Wives of a shogunate high-ranking official and a member of the domain visit the lord. Actually, they feel hostile toward the lord and give him poisoned confections as a gift from the shogun. Masaoka keeps him from eating them, but the wives blame her [for] suspecting a gift from the shogun. [She then orders her son to eat the confections and] her son obeys his mother's instructions. He comes running up to the confections, and he eats them.  One of the wives stabs her son suffering from poison with a dagger. Masaoka desperately tries to stay, [but] when being left alone there, she displays her grief in the face of her dead son."

For profiles of Onoe Kikugorō V and Ichikawa Danjūrō IX please see the article The Kabuki Actor.

The Series "One Hundred Roles of Baikō"
Source: Time Present and Time Past: Images of a Forgotten Master: Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900), Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing, 1999, p. 26, 27.

In 1893 Kunichika undertook a commission for two series of single-sheet portraits, each dedicated to the two most famous actors of their time, Ichikawa Danjūrō IX (1838-1903) and Onoe Kikugorō V (1844-1903).  The first of these, One hundred roles of Danjūrō, featured the major roles of Ichikawa Danjūrō IX in a set of half-length portraits.  (See print IHL Cat. #s 663, 689 and 701.) The second, One hundred roles of Baikō, featured the major roles of Onoe Kikugorō V and included an insert on the top of the print depicting a supporting actor.  Both the series were commissioned by Fukuda Kumajirō and Gusokuya Kahei. These two series are regarded as ‘monuments to his [Kunichika’s] career’.

The name "Baikō" in the series title was the haiku pen name of Onoe Kikugorō V and Kunichika was on friendly terms with him, often drinking tea and chatting backstage. 

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #2052
 Title (Description)Onoe Kikugorō V as Yashio and Ichikawa Danjūrō IX as Masaoka [inset] in the play Meiboku sendaihagi (“The Precious Flowers and Autumn Incense of Sendai”)
八汐 尾上菊五郎  政岡 市川団十郎  伽羅先代萩
 Series One Hundred Roles of Baikō 梅幸百種之内 Baikō hyakushu no uchi
 Artist Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900)
豊原国周筆 Toyohara Kunichika hitsu
 Seal Toshidama seal 年玉印 [see above]
 Publication Date
1893 明治廿 月 日 印刷 発行 [printed and published 1893]
Fukuda Kumajirō 福田熊次郎
seal: Ningyōchō Gusokuya, han 人形丁 具足屋 板
[Marks: pub. ref. 071; seal ref. 26-075]

Nisei Hori Ei 二卋 彫栄
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - overall minor toning; left margin with publishing information intact; backed
 Genre ukiyo-e; yakusha-e
print number 六十 68 in the series
 Format vertical oban
 H x W Paper 
 14 3/8 x 9 5/8 in. (35.6 x 25.2 cm)
 H x W Image
 13 5/8 x 9 1/8 in. (34.3 x 22.9 cm)

 Collections This Print
 Waseda University Cultural Resource Database 007-2006, 007-3048, 403-0373, 406-0095; Tokyo Metropolitan Library 加5968(88)/加05968(088)
last update:
4/17/2019 created