////Utagawa Kuniyoshi. Sumo wrestlers Hanaregoma Chōkichi and Nuregami Chōgorō / Fan print, 1852.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi. Sumo wrestlers Hanaregoma Chōkichi and Nuregami Chōgorō / Fan print, 1852.

Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi [歌川 國芳] (1798 – 1861).

Kabuki actors Ichikawa Danjūrō VIII and Arashi Rikan III as sumo wrestlers Nuregami Chōgorō (L) and Hanaregoma Chōkichi (R), respectively.

Signed: Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi ga (一勇斎 國芳 画) in a double gourd-shaped cartouche with Yoshi Kiri seal.

Publisher: No seal.

Date seal and double nanushi censor seal: Mera & Watanabe, 1852.

Media: Fan print (uchiwa-e, 団扇絵), 231 x 295 mm.

Theme: Nine-act drama (11 scenes) Futatsu Chōchō Kuruwa Nikki [双蝶々曲輪日記] (A Diary of Two Butterflies in the Pleasure Quarters) written by Takeda Izumo II, Namiki Senryū I, Miyoshi Shōraku (7/1749) as puppet play Bunraku [文楽], adopted for Kabuki theatre by Arashi San’emon IV.

“The sumo wrestler Nuregami Chōgorō is trying to ransom the courtesan Azuma for Yogoro, in whose debt he stands. Hiraoka Goemon, who is at odds with Yogorō and Azuma, is the patron of the amateur wrestler Hanaregoma Chōkichi. Chōgorō purposely loses to Chōkichi and then asks the latter to stop Goemon’s ransoming of Azuma; Chōkichi refuses, however, and they quarrel. Admonished for his dissipation by his sister Oseki, Chōkichi is going to commit ritual suicide (seppuku) as an apology for his behavior, but Chōgorō, who happens along just then, prevents him. The two men swear blood brotherhood. […]  The confrontation between Chōgorō and Chōkichi in the Sumōba scene, acted in the exaggerated style called aragoto, is a major highlight of the work. The scene in Yohei’s home, known as Hikimado, presents the unfolding of Kabuki’s eternal conflict between duty and feelings, here represented by the act of opening the skylight (hikimado) to which Chōgorō is tied”. [Samuel L. Leiter. Kabuki Encyclopedia: an English-language adaptation of Kabuki Jiten. — Westport, CT; London: Greenwood Press, 1979, pp. 70-71]. See also James R. Brandon and Samuel L. Leiter. Kabuki plays on stage, vol. 1, pp. 234-258. — Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2002.


Ichikawa Danjūrō VIII [市川団十郎] (Japanese, 1823 – 1854); other names: Ichikawa Ebizō VI, Ichikawa Shinnosuke II.

Arashi Rikan III [嵐璃寛] (Japanese, 1812 – 1863); other names Arashi Tokusaburō III, Arashi Kicchō I, Onoe Wasaburō I.

Another print in this collection with the same theme: SVJP-0331.2020.

Reference images:



SKU: SVJP-0396.2023 Categories: ,

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