A01 Yakusha-e in Its Early Stage

"Ichikawa Masugoro" "Sawamura Rokuroji"
Artist: Kiyomasu the second
Hosoban, lacquer print
Performance: ca.1735(Kyoho 20), Edo
Ritsumaikan Art Research Center(arcUP3442)

Art Research Center was established with the aim to archive temporal arts and intangible culture by digital technology. Therefore, we have collected various materials of traditional performance arts from early, and also house abundant historical materials of Kabuki. In this section, we would like to display the best pieces from Art Research Center collection.

This is a lacquer print designed by Torii Kiyomasu the second, and there is no any other place that houses this work except for us. On the front of this picture, we can see an young actor holding his sword. He is Ichikawa Masugoro , adopted child of Ichikawa Danjuro the second, and was given the name of Ichikawa Danjuro the third on November, 1735. At that time, he was a rising actor among Wakashu-gata , a role for actors before their initiation, and performed at Ichikawa-za theatre. On the other hand, Sawamura Rokuroji, an actor we can see the upper part of this picture, played villains at Nakamura-za theatre. Judging from existing materials, we can't confirm that they stood on the same stage.
At that time, Masugoro was just turned to Wakashu-gata actor from juvenile, so his hair style was still Sumi maegami, hairstyle before coming of age. He was acting Aragoto youthfully making up his face as Mukimi guma, one of the make-up styles that puts red eye-shadow around the eyes.
After the succession to the name of Ichikawa Danjuro the third in 1735, he performed at a theater in Osaka with his father Ebizo, and his future seemed to be bright as Kabuki actor. However, he failed to ill in Osaka, and passed away after going back to Edo at the age of 22. (,)