KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)

Danjuro IX as the "priest" Benkei with Ichikawa Sadanji as Togashi
Play Kanjincho
Signed: Toyohara Kunichika hitsu
c 1884

Good impression colors and condition.

Sold with a 8 1/2" X 11" facsimile of a photograph of Danjuro IX performing Benkei in Kanjincho


The Subscription List, (#18 of the Eighteen Kabuki Plays of the Ichikawa family) was first performed in 1840.
"Kanjinchô", which is derived from the classical Nô drama "Ataka", is the most popular play of the current Kabuki repertoire. It belongs to the Kabuki Juhachiban collection.  In 1872, the Ministry of Instruction pressured the Kabuki’s leaders to appeal more to a more elite audience.  When Pres. Ulysses S Grant came to Japan in 1879, an 11th century Japanese allegory of the American Civil War was written with Danjuro IX acting in the heroic role modeled after Grant.   Ultimately, in 1887, an Imperial Viewing of Drama was chosen and Danjuro IX, Ichikawa Sadanji, and the play Kanjincho were included in the first Kabuki program to be seen by the Emperor and Empress. 



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