Original Chikanobu (1838 - 1912) Japanese Woodblock Print
Chronicle of the Dan-no-ura Helmet, the Koto Torture Scene
Series; Bamboo Joints
Chronicle of the Dan-no-ura Helmet, the Koto Torture Scene - Handsome triptych illustrating a scene from the kabuki play "Dan-no-ura kabuto gunki." The lovely courtesan Akoya, mistress of the warrior Taira Kagekiyo, who escaped following the Battle of Dan-no-ura, was kidnapped for questioning to reveal her lover's whereabouts. The Genji commander Shigetada forced her to play the koto to test her honesty after she said she did not know his location. Her playing was so pure and sincere, that Shigetada realized she was telling the truth. In this unusual format, Akoya is shown up close as she plays and sings, plucking the strings of the instrument. Shigetada listens at left, frowning slightly at he grips his fan, while even the uncouth Iwanaga, who has slumped over the brazier in a bored manner, keeps time with his fingers. An incredible composition and a powerful image, very different from typical kabuki scenes of the time. Beautifully detailed with fine line work in the beauty's hair and soft shading in the background. A real Chikanobu masterpiece, rarely seen. This image appears on page 196 of Bruce A. Coats's book "Chikanobu: Images of Modernity and Nostalgia."
Artist - Chikanobu (1838 - 1912)
Image Size - 27 5/8" x 14" plus margins as shown
Condition - With excellent color and detail as shown. Three panels, not attached. One small hole, repaired from reverse, blends well. Very light creasing, toning, and soiling. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.