Original Kunichika (1835 - 1900) Japanese Woodblock Print
The Nun Seigen, 1863
Comments - Terrific triptych from the kabuki play commonly known as "Onna Seigen," a tragic tale about Princess Hakano, who becomes the nun Seigen after learning that her fiance, Matsuwakamaru, has died. She goes crazy after her sister, Princess Sakura, becomes engaged to a man who looks just like her fiance (and in fact, is). Reduced to begging, Seigen is shown riding in a ferry with the boatman Soto, who is obsessed with her. She lifts her tattered hat with a sweet smile as she spies Matsuwakamaru at left. He regards her with a solemn frown as he holds a fishing net, while Soto glares back at him with an angry frown, gripping a bamboo pole to move the boat along. A shower of cherry blossoms petals falls over the dark night sky, the silhouettes of a torii gate and trees along the horizon. From left, the actors are Kawarazaki Gonjuro I as Matsuwakamaru, Sawamura Tanosuke III as Seigen, and Bando Hikosaburo V as Sarushima Soto. Nice large figures, beautifully detailed with an embossed geometric pattern in Seigen's white robe and fine bokashi shading in the background. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has this image in its collection.
Artist - Kunichika (1835 - 1900)
Image Size - 14" x 28 3/4"
Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Three separate panels. A few small holes, repaired. Slight toning, soiling, and creasing. Please see photos for details.