Iris-colored Hatsuneya: Sawamura Tanosuke III as Kinokuniya Shozan
Artist(s)Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)Artist NationalityJapanese (culture or style)Object Creation Date1861Medium & Supportwoodblock print on paperDimensions
14 3/4 in x 30 in (37.47 cm x 76.2 cm)Credit LineGift of Sharlynn and Andrew Circo, in memory of Sotokichi KatsuizumiSubject matter
Actor Sawamura Tanosuke III was born into a family of kabuki actors in 1845. He was active from the time he was a child, in 1849. In the later part of his life he suffered from an unknown ailment that caused him to have both feet and parts of his hands amputated. In spite of his disability, he continued to perform until his death in 1878. He was best known for his onnagata (“female form” or “female role”) roles and for contemporary plays.
This play was only staged once, in the fourth month of 1861. Hatsuneya was the name of a famous palanquin store in Edo (Tokyo). The names for each of the characters are made up of the yagō
(stage name) and haimyō
(poet’s pen name) for each of the actors. The lanterns across the three panels of the tryptich together read, Soga Ryosha
, which refers to an earlier play, Soga ryosha gosairei (曽我両社御祭礼)
, on which this play seems to be based.Physical Description
A woman in a head wrap stands looking sideling at the viewer. The bottom of a pole is visible to her right, and to her left is a litter with a cherry-blossom canopy. Above her is a red paper lantern with the character “ryō
This is the center panel of a triptych.
Inscription: Hanmoto, Izutsuya (Publisher's seal); Tori [Rooster] 4 aratame (Censor's seals); Kinokuniya ShozanPrimary Object ClassificationPrintCollection AreaAsianRights
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human figures (visual works)
lanterns (lighting devices)