Re: kunichika print identification

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Posted by Alec W. ( on December 24, 2020 at 20:00:30:

In Reply to: kunichika print identification posted by marcel ebben on December 23, 2020 at 22:30:00:

As manuD notes, the actor is given as Iwai Shijaku 岩井紫若. And checking multiple source (Marks and Hotei), it's pretty clear that the date/censor seal is for 1862, 1st month.

What's puzzling to me about this print is that, according to my usual kabuki reference source (, no actor officially held that name in 1862! According that source, the name was unused from 1844.3, when Iwai Shijaku I became Iwai Hanshirō VII, until 1863.3, when Iwai Kumesaburō III became Iwai Shijaku II.

My theory here is that Iwai Shijaku II was using that name informally for some time before taking the name officially, and that printmakers were occasionally inclined to use such unofficial names on prints.

As per the role, it looks like "Oka"-something to me (written using obsolete kana).


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