Kunisada: Giant Ghost Tengu Vertical Diptych (SOLD

  • Sold.

Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865)
Title: Karaki Matazo protects Two Children with Giant Ghost Tengu on a Cloud
Date: 1852

Supernatural scene in the vertical diptych format, from the Kabuki play Konpira rishô osana adauchi 金毘羅利生稚讐, which was  performed at Edo Ichimura-za in September 1852. Above the cloud on the top sheet we see Karaki Matazô 下部唐木又蔵, (namely a temporary manifestation of Buddha, Gongen) 実は権現の化身 holding in his arms protectively two children: Son Bo-Tarô  倅坊太郎 and daughter O-hana娘おはなThe group above is guarded by a large, ghostly winged Tengu who holds a feather fan. Only his eyes glow yellow, and his gaze is fixed on the fighting on the ground. Behind Matazô, hidden on what looks like a piece of clothing we can see writing which says “Great Hit 大當“ in black on red. It indicates that the performance was a success. Below on the ground is a scene of fighting:

Sekiguchi Sehei? 関口瀬平 is attacking the two Tamiya Shinzaburô 民谷新三郎 and Omachi, wife of Shinzaemon 新左衛門の妻お町.

Sehei wears a kimono with the family crest “ta田“, which indicates Tamiya Genpachirô 田宮源八郎, the father of two children. However here it must be Tamiya Shinzaburô 民谷新三郎. (With thanks to Michiko Sato-Grube for her research here.)

There is a listing of this Kabuki piece in “the Kabuki Plays in 1852” at kunisada.de and the following is the casting: Karaki Matazô by Suketakaya Takasuke III, Daughter O-hana by Seki Kasuke I, Son Bo-Tarô by Ichimura Uzaemon.

Condition: Very good impression, color and condition. 
Dimensions: Vertical oban diptych (73 x 24.3 cm)
Signature: Toyokuni ga
Publisher: Tsutaya Kichibei