yakusha-e; nishiki-e; vertical ōban format
This print is signed at lower-right "Toyokuni ga" ('drawn by Toyokuni') within a red toshidama cartouche. Immediately to the right of the signature is the oval date seal of the censor, which indicates that this impression was inspected and approved in the fourth lunar month of 1858 (Ansei 5). To the left of the toshidama cartouche is the seal of publisher Kagaya Kichibei (who was known as Kagaya Kichiemon prior to 1851) of the firm Seiseidō. At middle-left is the red cartouche identifying the figure as Ashikaga Mitsuuji, a character most famous from the "Nise Murasaki inaka Genji" ('The False Country Bumpkin of Murasaki's Genji'), a parody of the Tale of Genji. The style of his hair is consistent with other depictions of Ashikaga Mitsuuji. This print, another impression of which is held at Waseda University, Tokyo, (acc. no. 101-6502 ) identifies the figure as actor Iwai Kumesaburō III of the Nakamura Guild, who is known to have played the role of Mitsuuji in an 1851 production of Higashiyama Sakura Sōji. However, the title printed at upper-right suggests that this print may possibly be from a series of unserialized images taken from the Tale of Genji and published by Kagaya Kichibei. Also of note is the fact that the Waseda impression bears a date seal of the third month of 1858, indicating a possible re-issue.
Link to share this object record: