Subject: The dedication page of a booklet published on the occasion of the return of the actor Ichikawa Hakuen (Ebizō V) to Osaka.
The booklet contains several pages with poems and three double-pages with illustrations by Sadamasu. The text on the dedication page reads: A present to Hakuen, by the Naniwa Tsurugawa-ren.
Book format: 20.9 x 14.1 cm.
Collection: Lempertz, auction catalogue 651, no. 810.
The return of Ichikawa Hakuen (Ebizō V) to Osaka prompted an extensive performance that included four plays. The actor was received with great acclaim and several prints were produced on the occasion, to meet the demand of many kabuki fans. Among these prints are the ones in question here, being part of an illustrated booklet entitled Fukamikusa, with poems by members of the Tsurugawa poetry club from Naniwa, led by Tsurunoya (Ki no Osamaru). The booklet shows much resemblance to Kunisada’s Ichikawa Sanshō kyōka, published 1829-1830 in Edo, which Sadamasu undoubtedly has seen during his apprenticeship with Kunisada.1
See images b., c., and d., for the illustrations by Sadamasu.
1. See Izzard, S., Kunisada’s World, pp. 117-119.