Yoshiiku: Hanashirusato–Nagoya Sanza Motoharu and Severed Head

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Artist: Utagawa Yoshiiku (1833-1904)
Title: Watanabe no Tsune and the arm of the Demon Ibaraki
Date: 1864
Series: Modern Parodies of Genji 今様擬源氏 

Chapter Eleven, Hanashirusato. It is nighttime, with a full moon overhead. We see Nagoya Sanza completing the fatal stroke with his sword, the severed head of his enemy on the ground. We may infer that the slain person was Fuwa Banzaemon, who stole from Sanza and caused his banishment from his clan. The rivalry between Sanzaburo and Banzaemon for the love of the courtesan Katsuragi is one of the oldest themes in kabuki theater and this staple play is still performed even today. Kuniyoshi designed a similar scene in his 1847 design for the series “Ogura Imitations of One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets”.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. Mint, with traces of mica in the dark sky.
Dimensions: ôban (36.3 x 24.4 cm)
Signed: Ikkeisai Yoshiiku ga
Publisher: Omiya Kyujiro (Kiyudo)
Literature: See MFA website online for their impression.