Utaemon as  Ishikawa Goemon

Japanese Print Description

TOYOKUNI (1769-1825)

Nakamura Utaemon III as Ishikawa Goemon
Signed:  Toyokuni ga
Play:  Sanmon Gosan no Kiri (performed at the Nakamuraza)
C 1810

In Spring of 1810 Nakamura Utaemon III got this first chance to play  Ishikawa Goemon (1558 – October 8, 1594),  a semi-legendary Japanese ninja outlaw-hero who stole gold and other valuables to give to the poor. Goemon and his son would be boiled alive in public after their failed assassination attempt on Hideyoshi.
The character appeared in many Kabuki plays (including several Chushingura /47 Ronin plays) but the Sanmon Gosan no Kiri is the most famous.   In the play Goemon is first seen sitting on top of the Sanmon gate at Nanzen-ji. He is smoking an over-sized silver pipe called a kiseru and exclaims “The spring view is worth a thousand gold pieces, or so they say, but ’tis too little, too little. These eyes of Goemon rate it worth ten thousand!”.

Good impression and colours. Minor flaws


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