Umegawa and Chûbei
Utamaro, Kitagawa; designer; Japanese printmaker, c.1756-1806
Colour print from woodblocks. Signed: Utamaro hitsu. Publisher: Maruya Jimpachi. c.1800.
bequeathed; 1941; Raphael, Oscar C.
Sir Daniel Hill.
A scene from one of the popular Umegawa-Chûbei plays. A more usual scene, treated by Utamaro in other prints, shows the fleeing lovers sharing an umbrella. Chûbei, son of a prosperous Osaka farmer, has failed to raise the money to pay the ransom to liberate his lover, the courtesan Umegawa, from service at the Izutsaya house. To save her from another suitor, he uses stolen money and they run away to the village where he was born, intending to commit suicide. Chûbei’s father tells Umegawa that he would be duty-bound to give his son to the police if he ever saw him again, so, taking the hint, she covers his eyes with a cloth and Chûbei comes to hold his father’s hand. The police are heard at the door.
Bequeathed by Oscar Raphael 1941 (received 1946)
Object Number: P.201-1946
(Paintings, Drawings and Prints)
(record id: 182603; input: 2011-03-29; modified: 2012-05-17)