Kunisada: The Ghost of Kasane 累の亡魂

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Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865)
Title: The Ghost of Kasane 累の亡魂 
Series: Comparisons for Thirty-six Selected Poems 見立三十六歌撰之内 (Mitate sanjûrokkasen no uchi)
Date: 1852

The actor Ichikawa Kodanji IV as the Ghost of Kasane. She descends in a ghostly flame, clutching her hair and exaggerating the torment of her disfigured face and pitiable soul. There were many plays that featured the tragic Kasane, a woman whose negative karma leads to her disfigurement and eventual murder at the hand of her lover Yoemon. The poem as transliterated by the MFA: Poem (Kokinshû 169): Aki kinu to/ me ni wa sayaka ni/ mienedomo/ kaze no oto ni zo/ odorokare uru「秋来ぬと 目にはさやかに 見へねとも 風の音にそ おとろかれぬる」Provenance: Varshavsky Collection

Condition: Very good impression. Good color and condition. Binding holes at left.
Dimensions: ôban (36 x 24.9 cm)
Publisher: Iseya Kanekichi
Literature: See MFA for another example.  Marks, Japanese Woodblock Prints (2010), p. 297.
Signature: Toyokuni ga