The series features well known kabuki actors in diverse roles, the theme of the series being to show them across a wide range of weather/nature conditions.
Like many artists, Yoshitoshi produced kabuki prints early in his career. Most examples of his work in the genre date from the eary to mid 1860s. Yoshitoshi is not known for his actor prints, and this series, dating from the middle of his career, ranks among the best kabuki prints that he produced.
For other examples of his later (and better) kabuki prints, please see the series: 'Modern Actors of the West' (1877) and 'Snow, Moon and Flowers' (1890).
Roger. S. Keyes, "Courage and Silence: A Study of the Life and Color Woodblock Prints of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 1839-1892", Cinncinnati, 1982where it appears as series #335; he listed the 14 known prints in the series. The next listing was in:
Eric van den Ing, Robert Schaap, "Beauty and Violence: Japanese Prints by Yoshitoshi 1839-1892", Havilland, Eindhoven, 1992
where it appears as series #28 (pg. 53, 119).
We use the Keyes numbers to order the prints below.
If you have either i) information about any errors on the page, ii) better images than the ones below, please let us know.
If we have a higher-quality image, that image can be viewed by clicking on the "Large Image" link, which gives the size of the image (for the benefit of those on slow links).
Generally the rōmaji does not include names of the actor and the character shown, unless the latter differs from that used in the English column.
|Thumbnail||Large image||Number||Date||Title (Kanji)||Title (Rōmaji)||Title||Comments|
|#1||1876||月 の 出
|Tsuki no shutsu||Moon-rise: Bandō Hikosaburō V as Sasahara Hayata||There is some uncertainty about the translation of the title. Keyes has
given it as "Moon in the mountains", but a print below (#3) with a very
similar title in
(differing only in the substitution of the character for 'sun' for that of
'moon') has been translated without the mention of mountains.
It is possible that another one of the complex visual puns is at play here; the second kanji, 出, is a double copy of the kanji for 'mountain', 山, so perhaps it can be seen as meaning 'mountains' here.
|Awayuki||Light snow: Ichikawa Sadanji as Obō Kichiza|
|345KB||#3||1876||日 の 出
鎮西 八郎 為朝
|Hi no shutsu||Sun-rise: Ichikawa Danjūrō IX as Chinzei Hachirō Tametomo||There is some uncertainty as to the meaning of 'shutsu' here, as it it is not normally used in an astronomical context; it can be associated with either coming or going, and so might equally well mean 'sun-set'.|
明智 日向守 光秀
Akechi Hyūga-no-kami Mitsuhide
|Setting moon: Bandō Hikosaburō V as Akechi Mitsuhide|
|Kōzui||Flood: Nakamura Shikan III as Abe Bungo-no-kami||There are several members of the Abe family who held the rank of Bungo-no-kami, so it is not certain which one is shown here. It is likely Abe Tadaaki, who in 1631 volunteered to measure the damage caused by a flood of the Sumida River by riding through it on a horse, for which he was rewarded by the addition of 10,000 koku to his fief. In 1691 the Komadome Inari shrine was built in memory of this; the stone beside the shrine was said to be where he made a stop during the damage assessment.|
|Kiri||Mist: Ichikawa Sadanji as Hoshikage Tsuchiemon|
因果 小僧 六之介
|Mangetsu||Full moon: Onoe Kikugorō V as Inga Kozō Roku-no-suke|
加藤 主計頭 清正
Katō Kazue-no-kami Kiyomasa
|Earthquake: Ichikawa Danjūrō IX as Katō Kiyomasa|
齋藤 内蔵之介 利三
Saitō Kura-no-suke Toshimitsu (Toshizō)
|Evening dew: Ichikawa Danjūrō IX as Saitō Toshimitsu|
渡邉 源次 綱
Watanabe Genji Tsuna
|Storm: Nakamura Shikan III as Watanabe no Tsuna|
|Strange wind: Onoe Kikugorō V as the ghost of the fisherman Kansaku||There are a number of instances of wordplay in this title:
First, the title wind name is a pun on 'kaifū', 'sea breeze' (海風).
Second, he is normally described as a cormorant fisher ('ukai', 鵜飼); the very similar character used in the title means 'crow' or 'raven'.
|Hanagumori||Hazy weather in spring: Sawamura Tosshō II as Kōbaimaru||Another instance of wordplay - the normal meaning of hanagumori is "spring hazy weather", but the first kan-ji can mean 'flower', hence Keyes' translation of the title as 'clouds of cherry blossoms'.|
|Chōman||High tide: Onoe Kikugorō V as Aoyagi Harunosuke||'High tide' is now usually written with the characters in the other order (manchō).|
|Ōame||Heavy rain: Nakamura Nakazō III as Murai Chōan|
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Last updated: 24/June/2014