Original Hirosada (active circa 1847 - 1863) Japanese Woodblock Print
Jitsukawa Enzaburo I as Hayano Kampei, 1848
Series; The Exemplary Loyalty of the Faithful Samurai (Churetsu gishi den)
Osaka Prints - Produced in the Kansai region, including Osaka and Kyoto, Osaka prints or kamigata-e are instantly distinguishable from typical Edo ukiyo-e. A major difference is the choice of subject matter. Osaka prints were nearly always portraits of actors or kabuki scenes. In contrast, Edo print subjects included beauties, landscapes, nature scenes, warriors, and historic events, in addition to kabuki.
Distinctly different artistic styles also emerged in Edo and Osaka in the 18th and 19th century, resulting in certain recognizable characteristics for each area. Osaka prints feature more subtle, serious figures, reflecting the wagoto or soft style of acting prevalent in the area, along with distinctive facial expressions. The aragato or brash manner of acting popular in Edo influenced print designs towards bolder images of heroism and military prowess.
Much like the style of the prints, the demand for ukiyo-e in the cities of Osaka and Edo also varied. Osaka produced far fewer ukiyo-e designs than Edo did. As a consequence, Osaka prints are rarer and also some of the highest quality prints made in the 19th century, with many featuring deluxe techniques such as burnishing or embossing. Osaka prints are a rare and wonderful collecting area of Japanese woodblocks.
Special detail - Embossing on the light blue sash. The print is lighter at the bottom to indicate that Kampei is a ghost, having committed suicide before the night attack of the 47 ronin. The sinuous flame wrapping around the right side of the image is another indicator of the supernatural.
Artist - Hirosada (active circa 1847 - 1863)
Image Size - 9 3/8" x 6 1/2" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Backed with paper. Slight soiling. Faint vertical line where backing papers meet. Please see photos for details. Good overall.