Interesting Signature Cartouche - assist


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Posted by Irwin (97.115.30.28) on June 22, 2014 at 23:31:35:

Noel, Hans Olof, Guy,
Anyone have any ideas on the reading of 国章補画 which appears in a cartouche next to the signature Hosai hitsu (an artist name of Utagawa Kunimasa IV)on the triptych I posted on Picasa at https://picasaweb.google.com/105908119019286852695/HosaiAssistedByKuniaki?authuser=0&feat=directlink

I read it as "assisted in the drawing by Kuniaki." I have never seen the suffix 補画 used before and I'm wondering if anyone has seen it used. If it is a reference to an artist with the name Kuniaki, it would not be Utagawa Kuniaki II who died in 1888.

Also, I am wondering if I am reading the characters 引立 (hikitate) in the title of this print correctly. Full title is 明治座十月狂言 明石引立ノ図 and I read that as Picture of the October Kyōgen at the Meiji-za, Akashi's Patronage. The Akashi being referenced is Nakamura Akashi V who is also pictured in the bottom row of the right hand sheet of the triptych.

Print is in Waseda's collection and those of several other Japanese institutions, but no English translations are provided.

Thanks!
Irwin


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