Posted by Horst Graebner (184.108.40.206) on May 03, 2022 at 10:29:42:
In Reply to: two very different versions posted by Rick Wilk on May 02, 2022 at 20:32:46:
It is an "ireki", a reused printing plate. Another actor in the same or a similar role, but in a different performance or play.
Used in kabuki and sumō prints, but also in bijin prints (here in another series with a modified cartouche).
This often happened, sometimes the prints were from the same publisher. Sometimes the publisher had sold the printing plates and the new version also has a changed publisher's seal.
Waseda: Ichikawa Danjūrō VIII as Tsubone Iwafuji in "Hanato Mimasu yayoi no hatsuyaku", Nakamura theater; publisher Izumiya Ichibei, date 3/53, censor seals Mera, Watanabe and shita-uri.
Your print: Arashi Kichisaburō III as Tsubone Iwafuji in "Kagami no ura hiyoku no hanatori", Kawarazaki theater; publisher Izumiya Ichibei, date 2/55, censor seal aratame.
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