Onoe Kikugorô III and Iwai Kumesaburô II in the roles of lovers
Kunisada, Utagawa; designer; Japanese artist, 1786-1865
Surimono. Colour print from woodblocks, with metallic pigment and blind embossing. Left-hand sheet from a Shikishiban diptych. Signed: Kôchôrô Kunisada ga. Poets: Ryukaen Mizugaki and Ryuôtei Hananari. c.1832.
given; 1937; Barron, E. Evelyn
This scene of lovers meeting under a plum tree in a rain storm seems to illustrate the play Hanagawado migawari no dan (or Migawari Oshun), which tells the story of Oshun. She has decided to make the sacrifice of killing herself in place of her lord, and she pretends to her lover Dembei (when they meet on a dark night in the rain) that her love for him is over (Dembei has actually been entrusted with finding and killing Oshun’s lord). The poem on the right sheet includes the words 'Hanakawado' and 'akiramete mitemo', meaning ‘I still feel my passion even though I gave up loving you’, while the poem on the left sheet mentions 'kinou niwa kawaru Asuka no kawa...,' meaning that love changes easily just like the current in River Asuka. These words are taken from the play, which was performed with these actors in the seventh month of 1827 and in the tenth month of 1832; given the form of the artist’s signature the print was probably made in association with the latter performance (the signature is similar to those on P.508-1937 and P.512-1937 which date from 11/1832 and 09/1832).
P.479-1937; Onoe Kikugorô III and Iwai Kumesaburô II in the roles of lovers
Object Number: P.478-1937
(Paintings, Drawings and Prints)
(record id: 182357; input: 2011-03-29; modified: 2017-01-03)