Kawarazaki Gonjûrô as Takebe Genzô and Azuma Ichizô as his wife, Tonami

Accession Number

Kawarazaki Gonjûrô as Takebe Genzô and Azuma Ichizô as his wife, Tonami

Utagawa Kunisada

Artist Nationality
Japanese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
woodblock print on paper

14 11/16 in. x 10 1/16 in. ( 37.3 cm x 25.5 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. James Hayes

Label copy
From a Chûshingura play

Subject matter
The play Sugawara no Michizane and the Secrets of Calligraphy first premiered in 1746 as a puppet play.  It was adapted the next month for kabuki and remains one of the most famous and frequently performed in the kabuki repertoire. The narrative is based on the life of the famous scholar Sugawara no Michizane (845-903) who was exiled to Kyushu after being accused of treason. 

Ichikawa Danjūrō IX was born in Edo in 1838 and active in kabuki from 1843 until his death in 1903.  He was also known as Kawarazaki Gonjūrō.  His father was Ichikawa Danjūrō VII.  He was known for his roles in jidaimono (period plays) as well as sewamono (contemporary plays).  He played tachiyaku (lead protagonist), jitsuaku (villain), and onnagata (“female form” or “female role”) roles and was famous in Japan and internationally.

Physical Description
This is a print of a man and a woman.  The woman wears a brown robe with white crests on the sleeves.  The man’s robe has bright pink and green flowers on the sleeve.  They are set against a dark plain background.
Inscriptions: Artist’s signature: Toyokuni ga; Publisher’s seal: To, Horiechō, Ebirin; Censor’s seal: Tori 11 aratame; Takebe Genzō, Kawarazaki Gonjūrō; Nyōbō Tonami, Azuma Ichizō

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
color print

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
men (male humans)
theater (discipline)
women (female humans)

2 Related Resources

Kabuki Images
(Part of 10 Learning Collections)
(Part of 8 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted