Good condition, see description
Original woodblock print by Gosotei Hirosada (fl. ca. 1819 -1865) - Actor Sawamura Kito I as 'Satomi Fusehime' (Princess Fuse of Satomi) - Japan - 1849
Format: Chuban, 17.5 × 24.8 cm (6.9 × 9.8 in).
The well known (and recognisable) male actor Sawamura Kito I in an onnagata role as Lord Satomi's daughter Princess Fuse (里見ふせ姫) in the drama 'Hana no Ani Tsubomi no Yatsufusa'. With the seal of the publisher Ueda Kôchû (the characters カ/上田 under a ‘double mountain') in the bottom left margin.
Signed Hirosada (広貞) with unknown artist’s seal.
Kamigata-e (Osaka-e). Yakusha-e. Okubi-e. Shini-e. Mitate-e (role not recorded in kabuki records). Good colour and condition. Embossed. Silver highlights. Printed on thick paper. Backed around the right-hand edge. No masked tears, punctures or wormholes. Printed ca. 11/1849.
Gosôtei Hirosada (also called Konishi and Utagawa Hirosada or possibly Utagawa Sadahiro as a fourth alternate) is the most well known of the Osaka school artists. The smaller chuban format, the outstanding print quality and the expressive and dramatic style of drawing, all identify it as an Osaka print. In this actor print it is the hesitance of the gesture, the delicacy of the hand, the grip of the fingers and the gentleness of the expression which communicate the character. The drama (sometimes known by the shorter name Hakkenden) tells of the tragic marriage of Fusehime and her father’s dog Yatsufusa. The princess becomes pregnant in a virgin birth, but is so ashamed of conceiving a dog's child that she kills herself before giving birth. When the string of her Buddhist rosary is cut during her suicide, the hundred small beads fall to the ground. However, the main eight crystal beads, each engraved with of one of the Confucian virtues (Jin Gi Rei Chi Chuu Shin Kou Tei), miraculously fly away and disappear. At the same time, eight young men are born within the Kanto area, each in possession of one of these larger Buddhist bead. A hermit, who was actually the founder of mountain Buddhism Shugendo, gave this mystical rosary to Fusehime. Fusehime’s hairdo is probably meant to resemble dog-ears. The inscription reads さためなき世や誉られてかるゝ萩.
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