Original Kunisada III (1848 - 1920) Japanese Woodblock Print
March Play at the Kabukiza: Overcoming the Nue, 1899
Comments - Fantastic illustration from the play "Overcoming the Nue" (Nue taiji) at the Kabukiza or Kabuki Theater in Tokyo. In the center, the samurai Hayata raises a dagger above his head to kill the mythical nue, a fantastic monster with the head of a monkey, the body of a tiger, and a serpent's tail. The nue had been attacking the Imperial Palace and tormenting the Emperor at night, so the Emperor asked Gensanmi Yorimasa to kill it for him. After shooting the nue down with an arrow, Yorimasa holds a flaming torch aloft at Hayata prepares to finish off the beast. The vicious creature snarls, glaring its teeth and twisting its body as its snake tail rears up behind the brave samurai, flickering its red tongue. The beauty Shobu no mae watches from the left, holding her folding fan beside her face. From left, the actors are Onoe Eizaburo, Onoe Kikugoro, and Ichikawa Danjuro. An incredible depiction of this mythological monster and a nice choice for collectors interested in folklore. Includes burnishing on the black court caps.
Artist - Kunisada III (1848 - 1920)
Image Size - 14" x 27 3/4"
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Three separate panels, backed with paper. Slight curling and staining. Please see photos for details.