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signed Toyohara Kunichika hitsu with his red Toshidama seal, the title at the upper right, Gakuya no nikai kage no hyoban: Sakuramaru, Suketakaya Takasuke, the artist brith name within the yellow cartouche, gako Arakawa Yosohachi, with his address in Asakusa, followed by the publisher, Takazawa Fusajiro han, with his address in Fukagawa, 1883
oban tate-e 14 3/4 by 9 7/8 in., 37.5 by 25 cm
The actor Suketakaya Takasuke IV (1879-1886) is in the role of Sakuramaru from the play Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami (Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy). The actor is partially hidden behind the shoji (sliding door) as he prepares to go on stage. His assistant is visible in silhouette animatedly speaking to the actor and holding out a prop sword. The banner hanging above his head is inscribed, hikimaku (kabuki curtain), itcho (one set), and the actor’s name Suketakaya san.
Amy Reigle Newland, Time Present and Time Past: Images of a Forgotten Master: Toyohara Kunichika, 1999, p. 114, cat. no. 86-89 (series)
(inv. no. 10-5003)