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'Kagamiyama' or 'Mirror Mountain' from an untitled series of Kabuki Plays in horizontal format

This woodblock print depicts a great scene from the kabuki play commonly known as "Kagamiyama (Mirror Mountain).  In the second act, the senior lady-in-waiting Iwafuji challenges her junior, Onoe, to a fight to demonstrate her martial arts skills, the test of a true samurai woman. Iwafuji secretly hopes to embarrass Onoe, who comes from a family of commoners. Onoe's loyal maid Ohatsu comes to her mistress's defense, fighting in her place and besting the evil Iwafuji. Here, Ohatsu has fallen on her hands and knees at left, her wooden practice sword lying on the floor. Onoe reaches out to her with alarm, waving a fan above her head. At right, Iwafuji looks on with a horrified expression, still gripping her weapon. From left, the actors are Sawamura Sojuro V as Meshitsukai Ohatsu, Onoe Baiko IV as Churo Onoe, Matsumoto Kinsho I as Tsubone Iwafuji. This Kabuki image dates to c1848.  This print features deluxe publishing treatments called burnishing or embossing.  The colors remain quite vibrant, and the details are amazing.   The print measures 14.5" x 9.75".  It is on its original mat attached at the top corners.  The margin on the right is intact, the others trimmed as many from this period are.  It bears its ciphers and seals on the body of the print.  The paper remains supple, with very good color and essentially just minimal toning.  It has good bleed through to the verso, with no additional markings.    P8572   $195

Kunisada (Toyokuni III), Utagawa (1786 - 1864) 'Kagamiyama' or 'Mirror Mountain'

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