this woodblock print represent the actor Ichikawa Danjūrō VIII (八代目 市川 團十郎) in the role of Fuwa Banzaemon 不破伴左衛門 made by utagawa kunisada who signed Toyokuni .
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This print is part of a series called Haika shoga kyōdai [俳家書画狂題], it is a series of poems with kabuki actors. at the top is inscribed: 俳家書画狂題 and the poem is:
稲妻やきのふは東けふは西 (lightning or yesterday from the east or the west ?!) from 晋子.
The actor plays the role of Fuwa Banzaemon who is in the story of the rivalry between Nagoya Sanzaburo and Fuwa Banzaemon for the love of Katsuragi, a courtesan from the Shimabara neighborhood in Kyoto (`` Nagoya Sanzaburo monogatari ''), is the one of the oldest folk theater themes of the Edo period.
Ichikawa Danjūrō VIII (八代目市川團十郎), Hachidaime Ichikawa Danjūrō, born October 5, 1823 in Edo - died January 6, 1854 in Osaka, is an actor of the theatrical genre from the prestigious Ichikawa Danjuro line. His father is the owner of shibai jaya but some said he was a musician and a low caste samurai and his mother is the daughter of star Ichikawa Danjuro V. He specializes in Aragoto style tachiyaku (male roles) like all members of his lineage, but more particularly in those of young lovers which make him extremely popular.
Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞, 1786- January 12, 1865) also known as Utagawa Toyokuni III (三代歌川豊国) is one of the most popular ukiyoe painters of the 19th century and also one of the most prolific and having most successful financially, ahead of Kuniyoshi 国芳 and Hiroshige 広重. Utagawa Kunisada was born in Edo in 1786. His father, who died the following year, was an amateur poet of little reputation. He was accepted around 1800 as an apprentice by one of the greatest masters of drawing on wooden boards, Toyokuni. He began by making prints of actors, Bijin-ga, sumo-e, landscapes and warriors. He also produces a large number of shunga (erotic engravings). He is said to have produced more than 20,000 prints. In 1844-1845, Kunisada Utagawa changed his artist name, taking the name of his master, Toyokuni, and thus became Toyokuni III. He died in Edo after having trained several students such as Toyohara Kunichika 豊原国周 and Utagawa Kunisada II 歌川国定.
|era||edo period 1603-1867|
|signature||Hanmoto no ôju Toyokuni ga 梓元乃応需豊国画(年玉印)|