Posted by Guy Pepermans (220.127.116.11) on April 13, 2011 at 06:49:52:
In Reply to: Re: Hiroshige? Diptych posted by Irwin on April 11, 2011 at 00:41:51:
The text in the red cartouche reads "haiyū Arashi Rigaku" (the actor Arashi Rigaku). The combination of this name and the typical red border did ring a bell to me. The print is a "News Nishiki-e" recounting the true story of Harada Okina who had an affair with Arashi Rigaku III and killed her patron Kobayashi Kinpei in March 1871. She was executed in 1872. Arashi Rigaku spent three years in jail and returned to the stage afterwards as Ichikawa Gonjūrō.
Another print by Yoshiiku depicting the same story was published in the newspaper 'Tokyo nichinichi shinbun' in 1874 (cfr Tokyo Metropolitan Library 008-29-03; see also the News nishiki-e website).
The print was designed by Hiroshige III using a 'gō' which not read so far, but logically followed by a seal 'Hiroshige'. Hiroshige III used the names 'Ichiryūsai' and 'Ryūsai' but this don't seem to match at first sight with the signature's first kanji which remains difficult to read. However, I'm pretty confident that the 2nd character of the signature reads 'sai'. I found another print in the Kotenseki Sogo database by Hiroshige III from 1874, where he uses this very same 'gō', preceding the familiar 'Hirohige ga' : http://www.wul.waseda.ac.jp/kotenseki/html/bunko10/bunko10_08410/index.html. Unfortunately also here, no reading of that 'gō' is given. This, and the identification of the circular seal, gives us some more work in front.
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