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lithograph with stencil details, highlights in gold metallic ink, signed at upper left in sumi ink, Binnie, with actor’s name in the lower left corner, Bando Mitsugoro, and date seal Heisei hachi nen (Heisei 8 ), signed again and numbered Paul Binnie, 12/20
dai oban tate-e 16 1/2 by 11 3/4 in., 42 by 29.7 cm
This composition is a memorial portrait of the actor Bando Mitsugoro VIII (1906-1975) in the role of a kugeaku (noble villain). The kugeaku is a trope for an evil figure of high social standing who invariably is involved in some sort of devious plot, and is often played in the aragato (rough) style as portrayed in this design. Mitsugoro VIII was renowned as a kugeaku, and is remembered here posthumously for his mastery of such roles. Tragically, the actor died after eating fugu (poisonous blowfish) liver in a Kyoto restaurant.
Paul Binnie: A Dialogue with the Past, The First 100 Japanese Prints, 2007, p. 78, cat. no. 36