This print depicts an actor Ichikawa Danjūrō VIII (八代目市川團十郎) in his four differentes costumes .
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This print presents the actor under his different characters: Dote Dôtetsu (top), Lady Yoshio, Arajishi Otokonosuke (with Aragoto makeup), and Nikki Danjô (right). You can see the actor's ability to disguise
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. In this play he played sumo.
Kuniyoshi Utagawa (1797-1861), 歌川国芳, Son of a silk dyer, he was born in 1797 under the name of Yoshizo. In his youth, he probably assisted his father, providing the designs for the pieces to be dyed, and thus naturally oriented himself towards the world of art. He was accepted as a pupil by Toyokuni Utagawa in 1814. Later, he founded his his own school and his drawings became popular. Famous for his prints of actors and animals (especially cats that he adored), he owes his inspiration above all to legends, to the fantastic, poetic and warrior universe of which we find a strong influence in his work. He is the author of 10,000 prints and several series. The great earthquake of 1855, after which, returning home late, he was given for dead by his family and the members of his workshop, marks the end of his great period. Suffering from illness and depression, he now produces little. He died in Edo in 1861.
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