The actor Nakamura Nakazo I as Osada no Taro in the play Ima o Sakari Suehiro Genji (The Genji Clan Now at Its Zenith)
Performed at the Nakamura Theater from the first day of the eleventh month, 1768
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Creator Name: Katsukawa, Shunsho
Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Japanese
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: Japanese; 1726-1792 Asia,East Asia,Japan
Creator Active Place: Asia,East Asia,Japan
Creator Name-CRT: Katsukawa Shunsho
Title: The actor Nakamura Nakazo I as Osada no Taro in the play Ima o Sakari Suehiro Genji (The Genji Clan Now at Its Zenith)
Title Type: preferred
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1768
Creation End Date: 1768
Creation Date: Performed at the Nakamura Theater from the first day of the eleventh month, 1768
Creation Place: Asia,East Asia,Japan
Object Type: Prints
Classification Term: Woodblock
Materials and Techniques: Woodblock print.
Dimensions: Hosoban; 30.5 x 14.4 cm
Inscriptions: SIGNATURE: Shunsho gaARTIST'S SEAL: Hayashi in jar-shaped outline
AMICA Contributor: The Art Institute of Chicago
Owner Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
ID Number: 1938.479
Credit Line: The Art Institute of Chicago, The Clarence Buckingham Collection
Context: In a further scene from the play treated in the two previous entries, Nakamura Nakazo I as Osada no Taro gains the confidence of Kasahari Hokkyo, an Umbrella Maker (played by Sakata Tojuro III), only to steal from him a mirror, presumably an important heirloom. Here Nakazo I is shown holding the mirror by its purple silk wrapper. Does his pose suggest surprise at discovering the precious treasure inside the cloth? Or is he perhaps directing the mirror's magic beam against some enemy? His assassin's eyesglare out from under bushy eyebrows, and the grimace of his down-turned mouth is accentuated by blue makeup, always associated with evil roles. Nakazo I's ability to portray villainy with a new and gripping realism seems to have inspired Shunsho, a new realist in his own right, to create startlingly arresting designs.Legend has it that Nakazo I was determined to become one of the three most celebrated Kabuki actors of his day, and as a kind of sympathetic magic he chose as his 'alternative crest' (kaemon) an emblem consisting of the character for 'man' (hito) written three times in a row. This is the large white pattern that here decorates his long ceremonial trousers (naga-bakama). The reddish orange lead pigment (tan) used to print these trousers has oxidized to a mottled brown. Red kimono, purple wrapper, orange trousers, sky blue background, and white accents must have formed a brilliant color scheme. Here it serves to accentuate further the boldness of the figure.
AMICA ID: AIC_.1938.479
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright The Art Institute of Chicago, 1998
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