Original Kunichika (1835 - 1900) Japanese Woodblock Print
Ichikawa Sadanji as Watonai, 1883
Comments - Terrific image of the actor Ichikawa Sadanji performing the role of Watonai, from a kabuki play based on the novel "The Battles of Coxinga" by Chikamatsu. Watonai has traveled to China to help restore the Ming Dynasty, asking her his half-sister, Kinshojo, to plead his case with her husband, General Kanki. Here, he holds a straw hat above his head as he thrusts a flaming torch out in front of him, examining the rushing water as he waits for a signal from Kinshojo. She was supposed to release into the river either white pigment signaling success for his plan or red pigment indicating failure. He grimaces angrily, his red stage makeup giving him a fierce appearance. His red armored shirt and boldly patterned purple and white kimono add a strong graphic contrast to the softly shaded night sky. A great, dynamic design, framed by the three concentric rice measure crest of the Ichikawa Danjuro line of actors.
Artist - Kunichika (1835 - 1900)
Image Size - 13 3/4" x 27 7/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three attached panels. A couple holes, repaired. Creasing, slight toning and soiling, a few stains. Please see photos for details. Good overall.