A Modern 'The Water Margin': Iwai Tojaku I as Female KansukeArtist(s)Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)Artist NationalityJapanese (culture or style)Object Creation Date1862Medium & Supportwoodblock print on paperDimensions
14 1/16 in x 9 7/16 in (35.8 cm x 24 cm)Credit LineGift of Dr. James HayesSubject matter
Actor Iwai Tojaku I also held the names Iwai Kumesaburō I and Iwai Hanshirō V. He was born in 1776 and active from 1786 until shortly before his death in 1847. He was best known for his roles in contemporary plays and for his young onnagata (“female role” or “female form”) roles. He was also the father of the next two actors to hold the Hanshirō name.The Water Margin
, also called Outlaws of the Marsh
is a Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) novel. It is based on the activities of the twelfth century leader Song Jiang and his band of outlaws. The novel was originally based on legends from the 12-13th centuries and later Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) plays. It has been adapted into several formats in Japan.
In this print, a woman in warrior garb faces away from the viewer at an angle. She holds a sword in her left hand. Behind her is a black lantern. The top of the print has lines of calligraphy, and the bottom has a light green wash.
Inscriptions: Kinsei suikōden; Onna Kansuke, Iwai Tojaku; calligraphy; Publisher's seal: Kichi, Isekane; Artist's signature: Toyokuni ga; Censor's seal: inu urū 8, aratamePrimary Object ClassificationPrintCollection AreaAsianRights
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lanterns (lighting devices)
women (female humans)