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each sheet signed Kunichika hitsu, with publisher’s seal of Tsujiokaya Kamekichi, and censor’s date seal Uma-ichi aratame (year of the horse , 1st month, examined)
oban tate-e triptych 14 5/8 by 29 7/8 in., 37 by 75.9 cm
The kabuki star, Onoe Kikugoro V (1844-1903), is in the titular role of Benten Kozo as performed at the Morita Theater in the first lunar month of 1870. The drama was based on the classic theme of Gonin Otoko, a grouping five ‘dandy-theives.’ The center figure in the relatively minor role of Akujiro may be the actor Nakamura Sagisuke, while to two fighting figures reflected in the mirror on the right sheet are the multi-talented Nakamura Shikan IV (1831-1899) as another ‘dandy thief’ Nihon Daemon, and Sawamura Tossho II (Suketakaya Takasuke IV, 1838-1886) as Fujitsuna.