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Sesshū Watanabe hashi kuyō


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Sesshū Watanabe hashi kuyō

by Utagawa Yoshitaki, 1861

Police Confront Burglar in Kabuki Theater
IHL Cat. #1839

About This Print

The right sheet of a triptych depicting the actors Arashi Rikitsumaru I 嵐璃橘丸 as Kumawakamaru くま若丸 (right) and Fujikawa Tomokichi III 藤川友吉 as as Hondatsuma Shizuhata 本田妻賤機 (left) in Sesshū Watanabe hashi kuyō1, playing at the Kado no Shibai ("corner theater")located on the Dōtonbori canal in Osaka. 

The drama Sesshū Watanabe hashi kuyō (摂州渡辺橋供養) was written in 1748 for the Osaka bunraku (puppet theater) by Toyotake Chikujennō Shozō (1700-1783) and Asada Itchō (?-c. 1763). The plot falls within the genre called Mongaku Shōnin mono based on selected tales from the Heike monogatari 平家物語(Tale of the Heike), involving the epic struggle between the Minamoto (Genji) and Taira (Heike) clans for control of Japan at the end of the 12th century, and the Genpei seisuiki 源平盛衰記 (History of the Rise and Fall of the Genji and Heike) covering the Genpei wars (1160-1185).2

click on image to enlarge
The full triptych in a "deluxe" edition using enhanced printing techniques.

click on image to enlarge
comparison between this collection's print and the "deluxe" edition.
Note the use of furikake ("sprinkling" or application of powdered metallics: 振掛), tsuyazuri (lit., "shiny printing: or burnishing: つや摺),
fukizumi (lit., "blown ink" or sprayed colorants: 吹墨), and nunomezuri ("cloth pattern printing" or printing with a textile: 布目摺).

1 The play's name is also seen transliterated as Sesshū Watanabe-bashi kuyō

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description Sesshū Watanabe hashi kuyō 摂州渡辺橋供養
 Series N/A
 Artist Utagawa Yoshitaki (1841-1899)
 Signature Yoshitaki ga 芳滝画
 Seal not sealed
 Publication Date August 1861 上演年月日文久01 08月吉日
 Publisher no publisher's mark
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - trimmed into image top and bottom
 Genre ukiyo-e; yakusha-e
 Format vertical chuban
 H x W Paper 
 9 7/16 x 7 1/16 in. (24 x 17.9 cm) 

 Collections This Print
 Hankyu Culture Foundation No.中Y260-01 (deluxe edition)