Original Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861) Japanese Woodblock Print
Onoe Kikujiro II as Akoya and Ichikawa Kodanji IV as Iwanaga Munetsura, 1849
Comments - Handsome scene from the kabuki play "Hatsumoto Yui Soga no Kyodai." 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. Here, Akoya looks up from the instrument with a smile as she plays. Even Shigetada's uncouth retainer Iwanaga Munetsura pauses to listen, frowning as he looks out of the corners of his eyes. Behind them, a wooden grill closes off the mouth of a cave that serves as a prison. From left, the actors are Ichikawa Kodanji IV and Onoe Kikujiro II. A classic Edo era subject.
Artist - Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861)
Image Size - 14 1/4" x 9 7/8"
Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Diagonal folds. A few holes, repaired. Wrinkling, slight toning, soiling, and rubbing. Notation on reverse in ink. Please see photos for details.