Original Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864) Japanese Woodblock Print
Actors in the Old Story of Sansho Dayu, 1852
Comments - Intriguing triptych featuring two scenes from the kabuki play "Mukashi banashi Sansho Dayu" showing the evil elderly samurai Sansho Dayu, who sold the governor Iwaka's children into slavery after his overthrow. Iwaka's loyal retainer Tatebe tried to rescue the children, but was captured and sentenced to death. On the day of the execution, Sansho's beautiful daughter, Osan, turned into a fowl as the sun rose and chewed through the ropes binding the prisoner, setting him free. At lower right, Osan begins the transformation into a fowl, her kimono a mass of delicate feathers and her sleeves rising up like wings. In the room above, Sansho watches in astonishment, grimacing angrily at upper right. The faithful Tatebe is shown at lower right, wearing a black kimono. A grassy bank at left separates this scene from one showing Dayu in a boat beneath a bridge. An incredible triptych with expressive figures and a wealth of detail.
The actors are Ichikawa Hirogoro I as Yura no Saburo, Kawarazaki Chojuro III as Taiomaru, Ichikawa Ebizo V as Sansho Dayu, Ichikawa Danjuro VIII as Motoyoshi Kanamenosuke, Ichikawa Saruzo I as Anju-hime, Arashi Rikan III as Dayu's daughter Osan (R); Ichikawa Komazo VII as Kagawa Kazuma, Asao Okuyama III as Oeno Gunryo, Ichikawa Dan'nosuke V as Sakurado, Onoe Shinshichi III as Iwaki no hangan, Ichikawa Kuzo II as Shichiya Jubei (C); Ichikawa Kuzo II as Owada Kuranoshin, Ichikawa Ebizo V as Sansho Dayu, Iwai Kumesaburo III as the wife Orachi, Arashi Rikan II as Yamaoka Gonroku, and Ichikawa Danjuro VIII as Motoyoshi Yonosuke (L).
Artist - Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 - 1864)
Image Size - 14" x 29 5/8"
Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Three separate panels. A few wormholes, repaired. Slight soiling, a few creases and spots. Please see photos for details.