Re:- Toyokuni II:- facts and fiction

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Posted by Theo de Kreijger on May 22, 2003 at 13:49:28:

In Reply to: Re:- Toyokuni II:- facts and fiction posted by George Aar on May 22, 2003 at 05:57:39:

Hi George!

These remarks are also correct. The "Toyo" character of the signature with the "window part" flared out to the top and the "bottom part" in a zig-zag shape, has also been used by Toyokuni I. Also facial characteristics you've described have been drawn by Toyokuni I, although I believe they refer more to a specific (group of) actor(s) then to the artist himself. (I think you'll also be able to find them in Kunisada and Kuniyasu designs, although I didn't check that though.)

One clear example is a "women chushingura" triptych I once owned. Click here for a small image or here for a large image. With the help of Aragoro Shoriya (Regis) from I found out that this play can be dated accurately at March 1824. So this belongs to the "Toyokuni I" school. It has the previously mentioned signature and the bodies of the onagata have the awkward squated or very flat shapeless form.

* Actors (left to right): Iwai Shijaku I (later Hanshirô VII) as Onoe, Iwai Hanshirô V as Ohatsu and Ichikawa Danjuro VII as Iwafuji
* Date: March 1824
* Publisher: Oda-ya Takichi (Yushima)
* Location: Ichimuraza Theater
* Play: Botan ni Chou Hatsu ga Fumibako or "The butterfly in the peony tree, the letter box of Hatsu (Ohatsu ?)"
* Reference: Book about "Women Chushingura" by The National Theater (No reference to any other performance with the same trio of actors)

I wonder whether Toyoshige already worked for some years as an independed artist before Toyokuni I died. In that case this coulnd't have been his work.


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