JAPANESE PRINTS

A MILLION QUESTIONS

TWO MILLION MYSTERIES

 

Ukiyo-e Prints

浮世絵版画

Port Townsend, Washington

 

UTAGAWA TOYOKUNI III

 三代目川豊国

うたがわ(目).とよくに.さんだい

1786-1865

PLAY: Jitsugetsusei chūya no oriwake

日月星昼夜織分

じつげつせいちゅうやのおりわけ

ACTOR: Ichikawa Kodanji IV

市川小団次

いちかわ.こだんじ

(This actor was known for his 'flying' stunts.)

We have added a new entry on this technique

referred to as chūnori on our Bo thru Da index/glossary page.

To read more click on the highlighted words above.

ROLE: "The Night-crawling Star"

夜這星

よばいぼし

Yobai Boshi

 

DATE: 1859, 9th Month, 23rd Day

安政 6 年

Ansei 6

CARVER: Hori Ken

彫兼

ほり.けん

PUBLISHER: Ki-ya Sojiro

木屋宗次郎

きやそうじろう

SIZE: 14 1/8" X 9 3/4"

This is the right hand panel of a triptych.

 

ORIGINALLY

$145.00

NOW ON SALE FOR

$80.00

 

Once again I owe an incredible debt to A. K. who is one of our most esteemed contributors. A considerable amount of the information provided above was added due to his efforts.

THANKS A. K.!

 

 The fellow with the "star" on his head may actually represent a star and be a part of the Tanabata (七夕 or たなばた) Festival

or Star Festival --- also known as the Festival of the Weaver Maiden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above is a detail of a star-headed figure from a print by Kuniyoshi.

 

 

 

NAUGHTY! NAUGHTY!

 

Of course I have no way on knowing for sure, but I would be willing to bet that almost every language has its own hidden sexual puns and allusions. We noted this on another page portraying a kabuki actor posed before a portable stand selling nihachi noodles. (Click on the image below to go to that page and read about the sexual allusion between noodles and having sex with a purportedly sixteen year old girl.)

 

Recently I was listening to an interview on NPR with an expert in the classical languages. She stated confidently that there would be many more students of Latin if they knew how bawdy the ancient texts could be. Japanese I am sure is no different.  The term yobai (夜這い or よばい) means "night crawling" as in "night crawling star".  James Brandon in Kabuki: Five Classic Plays in the section on "Sukeroku: Flower of Edo" (U. of Hawaii Press, 1992 reprint, p. 86, note 22) notes that yobai can mean either "secretly slipping in to see a girl at night" or "falling star".

 

Our contributor A.K. brought this to our attention, but we are just getting around to mentioning it.

 

 

 

CARVER:

Hori Ken

 

DATE SEAL:

1859

 

PUBLISHER:

Kiyasojiro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AND PICTURES OF

ICHIKAWA KODANJI IV

GO TO THE

BEST KABUKI SITE ON THE INTERNET!

 

http://www.kabuki21.com/kodanji4.php

 

Above is a detail from one of the prints portraying Kodanji IV which you can find at

Kabuki21.com

(I chose it because of the unusual headpiece and its similarity to our print.)

 

Any questions or comments? Please contact us.

jv@printsofjapan.com

 

Direct purchase may be made through check or money   order or by payment through PayPal.

 

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