Original Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864) Japanese Woodblock Print
Scene from the Higashiyama Storybook, 1851
Comments - Interesting kabuki scene from the play "Higashiyama Sakura Zoshi," commonly known as "The Higashiyama Storybook," based on a true story. The local mayor Asakura Togo decided to petition the shogun directly for tax relief for his impoverished town, bypassing the crooked governor. He knows that doing so will mean the death penalty for him, so he is torn between doing his duty and parting from his family. Here, Togo perches between the wooden pilings of a palace room built over water, the petition tucked inside the front of his kimono. He looks up with a worried frown, while a nobleman and a beauty sit in the room above. At left, two noblemen on a bridge seem to have spied Togo, each shielding his eyes with his sleeve, exchanging concerned glances. Cloth panels hang from ropes at upper left and lower right, with maple trees framing the scene. Beautifully detailed with a burnished scroll pattern on both black robes. From right, the actors are Bando Hikosaburo IV as Higashiyama Yoshimasa ko, Ichikawa Kodanji IV as Asakura Togo, Onoe Kikujiro II as Fujitsubo no kata (R), Bando Takesaburo I as Ashikaga Yoshinao (C), and Iwai Kumesaburo III as Jiro Kaja (L). A handsome subject with a nicely detailed setting.
Artist - Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864)
Image Size - 14 1/4" x 29 1/4" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Three separate panels. Slight separation at end of horizontal centerfold, a couple thinning spots, small loss at corner, repaired. Slight soiling. Please see photos for details.