KUNICHIKA (1835-1900)

Ichikawa Danjuro IX as Hanako (a Shirabyoshi or temple dancer)
Signed: Kunichika hitsu
Series: 100 Roles of Danjuro IX
Publisher: Fukuda Kumajiro
1894

Very good impression and colors. Burnishing and gaufrage effects. A smudge. Album backing.

$300

    The background story of the "Dojoji Temple" legend involves a handsome Buddhist priest, Anchin and a young girl, Kiyo-hime. Kiyo-hime falls in love with Anchin who rejects her because he is a priest. After all her attempts have been thwarted, her passionate love turns into a great grudge. She transforms into a serpent and chases after Anchin who escapes to the Dojoji Temple and hides beneath a huge bell. The serpent coils itself around the bell and scorches it with fire from its mouth and Anchin is burned to death.

However, the events that happen later provide the main story of "Musume Dojo-ji" in the kabuki play. The begrudging serpent transforms into a "shirabyoshi (a female dancer in a male costume)" who names herself Hanako and visits the Dojoji Temple to perform her dance. Soon she starts to climb up to the huge bell and reveals herself to be a serpent. The fervent prayers of the priests and the endeavours of Oshimodoshi, a powerful man who appeases the fierce spirit of the serpent, at last manage to drive her out of the temple.






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