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Artist: Shunkosai Hokushu

Subject: The actor Nakamura Utaemon III as Kan Shojo in the play Sugawara denju tenarai kagami, “Mirror of Learning and Transmitting Sugawara’s Secrets of Calligraphy."

Signed: Shunkosai Hokushu ga

Publisher: Toshikuraya Shinbei

Date: 1823, ? 6, 3rd month

Format: Oban, tate-e

Size: 15 1/4'' x 10 1/4'', full size

Comment: Very fine impression, color, and condition. An unusual example of some of the more sophisticated techniques of woodblock printing from the Edo period. Printed on thick, deluxe paper with embossing and metallic dust. The actor standing before a votiv tablet with prominent woodgrain, known as kimetsubushi printing. The flat grain face of the block was rubbed with stiff brushes to imitate natural weathering of the wood.

Illustrated: Color plate # 173 ( trimmed ) in Theatre Prints from the Tsubochi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University; Kamigata Prints in the former period, part 1, 1995

Hokushu - Nakamura Utaemon III as Kan Sojo