Actors Ichikawa Danjūrō II, Fujimura Handayū II, Katsuyama Matagorō, and Sanogawa Mangiku, 1719

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Capitalizing on the public's fascination with a sensational double suicide by a pair of star-crossed lovers in Osaka in 1703, Chikamatsu Monzaemon wrote Sonzaki shinjū (Double Suicide at Sonezaki) and managed to have it performed at the Takemoto Puppet Theater later that year. It was later adapted to the Kabuki stage. The story recounts the ill-fated love affair between the famous prostitute Ohatsu and her true love, Tokubei. Kiyonobu designed this print to commemorate the New Year's performance of Sonezaki Shinjū at the Nakamura-za Theater in 1719. The lively composition shows Tokubei peering wistfully at Ohatsu from behind another woman. Kiyonobu masterfully contrasts the fluid, curvaceous lines that he uses to define the figures, with the geometric, architectural background.

Details
Title
Actors Ichikawa Danjūrō II, Fujimura Handayū II, Katsuyama Matagorō, and Sanogawa Mangiku
Artist Life
1664 - 1729
Role
Artist
Accession Number
74.1.22
Curator Approved

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