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Kataoka Nizaemon XI in the role of Hachirōbei


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Kataoka Nizaemon XI in the role of Hachirōbei

(in the play Sakuratsuba Urami no Samezaya)

attributed to Matsuda Seifū, 1915

IHL Cat. #347

About This Print

One of fourteen prints by the artist that appeared in the magazine Shin Nigao
picturing the actor Kataoka Nizaemon XI in the role of Hachirōbei.

An image of this collection's print was provided to the National Gallery of Australia and appears in the catalog to their 2012-2013 exhibition Stars of the Tokyo Stage.1

A recent offering of this print on the auction site Artelino, attributed this print to Yoshikawa Kanpō 吉川 観方(1894-1979) and, indeed, the signature can be read as Kanpō.  However, the page of Shin Nigao this print is tipped into clearly identifies the artist as Matsuda Seifū.  (See "Miscellaneous" in the "Print Details" table below for an image of the inscription on this page.)  If the artist is truly Kanpō, it would make this print the earliest of his actor prints.  Interestingly, the signature on the print does not look like other known Kanpō signatures, nor does it look like known Matsuda Seifū signatures.

For more information on this short-lived magazine whose purpose was to advertise the Kabuki theater and renew interest in actor prints, see the article Shin Nigao Magazine.

1 Stars of the Tokyo Stage, Lucie Folan, et. al., National Gallery of Australia, 2012, p. 30.

The Actor in the Print

Source: Kabuki 21 website http://www.kabuki21.com/nizaemon11.php
Stage names:
Kataoka Nizaemon IX, Kataoka Gatô III, Kataoka Hidetarô I
Real name: Kataoka Hidetarô
Existence: 1857 ~ 16 October 1934

Kataoka Nizaemon XI was a very popular and outstanding actor, who achieved a fame for himself in both his native Kamigata and in Tôkyô. He was able to play a wide range of roles, as a tachiyaku or a katakiyaku or even an onnagata, in jidaimono as well as sewamono, in classics as well as Shinkabuki. Wagotoshi and jitsugotoshi roles were his forte. In Ôsaka, he and Nakamura Ganjirô I surpassed themselves for the title of best wagotoshi. In Tôkyô, his main stage partners were Ichimura Uzaemon XV and Nakamura Utaemon V. This threesome was nicknamed San'emon ("The Three Emon") and their performances were extremely successful.

Kataoka Nizaemon XI gathered 12 of his best roles in a special collection called kataoka jûnishû: Oda Sanshichirô Nobutaka ("Uma Giri"), Ishida no Tsubone ("Hade Kurabe Ishikawazome"), Hachirobei ("Unagidani"), Matahei ("Keisei Hangonkô"), Seigen ("Seigen Anshitsu"), Daimonjiya Sukeemon ("Kamiko Jitate Ryômen Kagami"), Ichijô Ôkura Naganari ("Ichijô Ôkura Monogatari"), Akagaki Genzô ("Kanadehon Suzuri no Takashima") , Kan Shôjô ("Tempaizan"), Yojirô ("Chikagoro Kawara no Tatehiki"), Waki Kiyomaru ("Kawara no Wakare") and Kimura Nagato-no-Kami ("Keppan Tori"). His others best roles were Matsuômaru ("Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami"), Kameya Chûbei ("Koi Bikyaku Yamato Ôrai"), Kakiemon ("Meikô Kakiemon"), Katagiri Katsumoto ("Kiri Hitoha") or Heisaku ("Numazu").

Sakuratsuba Urami no Samezaya, with Kataoka Chiyonosuke, left, Kataoka Nizaemon, and Onoe Baikō.
(From Kabuki-za Hyakunen-Shi.)
Source: Samuel Leiter's entertaining blog http://kabukiwoogie.blogspot.com/2018/06/

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #347
 Title/Description Nizaemon in the role of Hachirōbei 仁左衛門 (八郎兵衙)
 Magazine Shin Nigao (New Portraits) volume unknown 新似顔 第一年?編
 attributed to Matsuda Seifū (1880-1978) (See discussion above in "About This Print")
観方 unread (possibly Kanpō) (See discussion above in "About This Print")
 Seal no seal present
 Date 1915
 Edition First and only edition printed in magazine Shin Nigao
 Publisher  Nigaodō 似顔洞
 Carver Igami Bonkotsu (1875-1933)
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - foxing throughout along with original horizontal folds from magazine insertion
 Miscellaneous  Inscription on presentation page
仁左衛門 Nizaemon (八郎兵衙) Hachirōbei 風 Matsuda Seifū 畫 ga
 Genre shin hanga (new prints); nigao-e
 Format Koban
 H x W Paper 10 x 4 3/8 in. (25.4 x 11.1 cm)
 Collections This Print
 Reference Literature Stars of the Tokyo Stage, Lucie Folan, et. al., National Gallery of Australia, 2012, p. 30.
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