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Subject: Nakamura Utaemon IV as Danshichi Kurobei.

Title: Tōsei hokku awase (A collection of poems of the present time)

Play: Natsumatsuri Naniwa kagami.

Date: 5/1850

Theatre: Naka

Signature: Kunimasu

Format: chūban

Collection: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.

For this print Sadamasu remodelled a design made by his artist friend Utagawa Sadanobu.1 The original design was made for an earlier performance of the play, in which the actor Nakamura Tamashichi I, at the age of thirteen, played the part of Danshichi Kurobei. It concerned a (children’s) performance at the Kado Theatre, 7/1849.

Sadamasu used some of the original blocks for his design, including the key-block for the figure and the block for the check pattern of Danshichi’s jacket. Further, new elements were added to the design, such as the cartouches, the poem, and Sadamasu’s signature.2


1. For Sadanobu’s print, see Matsudaira, S., Shodai Hasegawa Sadanobu sakuhin ichiran, pl. 100 (Actor, date and theatre not correct).
2. See Lühl, H., Ireki in Osaka actor prints, in Andon 72-73, Bulletin of the Society for Japanese Arts, p. 87, nr. 38.