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University of Alberta

Against the Grain: Japanese Woodblock Prints

University of Alberta Photo
~6月28日

Hamano masago makie no takashima

(from the series, New Plays of the Meiji-za)Object Name: triptych
Artist: Kunichika, Toyohara (Japanese, 1835-1900)
Date Made: 1897
Materials: ink on paper; woodcut
Measurements: image: 108.4 cm x 72 cm

Description: An oban triptych that depicts the actor Ichikawa Sandanji I as Ishikawa Goemon in the Kabuki play "Keisei Ishikawazome"

This work follows in Kunichika's esteemed genre of Yakusha-e (prints of actors) which adhere to idealized notions of masculinity. It is a scene from a Kabuki play and captures the emotion and strength of the actor's performance. There is a slight humour to the expressive manner in which he stands but it aptly communicates the emotions and poses common to kabuki of the day. The actor is well adorned in flowing robes and the colour of the print makes it truly outstanding. The bold design, brilliant colour and vivid expression of the actors face are said to represent the last flowering of the Ukiyo-e tradition within the new Meiji era.

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