N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1851
Condition: good
Size: 36 x 25 cm

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Important woodblock print depicting, on the left, the actor Ichikawa Kodanji IV (四代目市川小団次) as the legendary ninja warrior and bandit Ishikawa Goemon (石川五右衛門) who has a large traveling basket on his back and who, using ninjutsu (忍術) techniques, is floating on a cloud carrying a scroll in his mouth. On the right the actors Bando Hikosaburo IV (四代目坂東彦三郎) in the role of the powerful general, enemy of Goemon, Chikuzen no kami Hisayoshi (筑前守久吉), kabuki alias for the famous daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣秀吉), and Iwai Kumesaburo III (三代目岩井粂三郎) who plays the lady of the house Ayanodai (奥方綾乃台), both depicted holding their swords.

The setting of the scene is most likely the main gate “Sanmon” (三門) of the Nanzen-ji (南禅寺) Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto. The work was made by the famous artist Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) on the occasion of the staging of the play “A Shade of the Soga on a Glorious Sand Path” (木下曽我恵砂路) at the Nakamura-za (中村座) theater in Edo (江戸).

The print, produced in January 1851 by the publisher Ebisuya Shoshichi (恵比寿屋庄七), owner of Kinshodo (錦昇堂), despite the right signs of aging, some tiny holes of which the largest in the lower left corner, a partial trimming of the upper margin and a slight backing, is in good general condition.