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Maker(s):Ichimura Uzaemon XVII; Jitsukawa Enjaku III
Culture:Japanese (1916-2001); Japanese (1921-1991)
Title:Oshiguma (face rubbing) of Ichimura Uzaemon XVII as Matsuômaru and Jitsukawa Enjaku III as Umeômaru from "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami" (Ga No Iwai scene)
Date Made:after 1963
Materials:kumadori on silk mounted on paper scroll
Accession Number:  AC 2009.108.a,b
Credit Line:Bequest of Howard Hamilton
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Oshiguma; Kabuki; theater; make-up; scroll

Label Text:
Oshiguma is an impression of the Kabuki actor's makeup on a towel of silk, taken right after the performance. It captures the actor's aura--his makeup and face in its unique condition after a particular performance. After the makeup has completely dried, the actor signs the oshiguma and stamps it with his personal seal. The impressions reveal the subtle differences between the makeup of different actors in the same role--for example, AC 2009.108.a and AC 2009.113.c. Oshiguma are mementos of the actor's performance that he gives away to friends and admirers or occasionally sells for a charitable cause.

The colors of the makeup, which is called kumadori, are a symbolic characterization of the figure's nature. Red indicates the protagonist or hero of a play. The vivid color marks his virtue and strength. Blue generally represents ghosts and spirits. Neutral tones, including gray and brown, stand for natural creatures such as animals and some demons.

BJ, 2013

art; painting; drawing; color theory; text; abstract; symbolism; symbolism; shape; red; actors; Japanese-American; performing artists; faces

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