Yoshitoshi: Three Kabuki Actors; One Tattooed
Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi
Title: Three Kabuki Actors; One Tattooed
Scene from Kabuki “Three Kichisas at the first New Year’s pleasure (San-nin Kichisa kuruwa no hatsukai)”: The story tells the kinship of three Kichisas through the robbery of 100 ryô (money): the sworn brothers and sister, Oshô Kichisa, Obô Kichisa, and Ojô Kichisa with others . On this print Oshô Kichisa with tattooed body tried to kill Jûzaburô, an employee of Kiya (left), and Kiya’s daughter Otose, are actually twin brother and sister. Oshô Kichisa is a robber who was an ex-monk and their eldest brother. The setting at the well of a cemetery indicates the close relationship with the drama of “yaoya oshichi”, a ghost story. On the wooden plates of the grave is written: oo atari and uremasu, meaning a great hit and sales well respectively. This performance must have been a great success. This rare diptych seems to be unlisted in Keyes, although it could be number 32.
Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. Some very minor wrinkles and a tiny nibble out of left margin of leftmost sheet.
Dimensions: oban diptych
Literature: Unlisted in Keyes.
Seal: Kuniyoshi’s Toshidama seal
Signature: Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga