Tōshūsai Sharaku
Sanogawa Ichimatsu III as a Courtesan and Ichikawa Tomiemon as the Villain
1794, 5th month

Signed: Tōshūsai Sharaku ga; Publisher’s logo: (Tsutaya Jūsaburō); censor’s seal: kiwame; ōkubi-e, ōban, 38.0 x 24.7 cm; nishiki-e with kirazuri

The onnagata Sanogawa Ichimatsu III as Hakujin Onayo, a courtesan from Kyōto, and Ichikawa Tomiemon as the villain Kanisaka Toma. Apparently only five ōkubi-e motifs by Sharaku featuring double portraits have been preserved. In each of them the artist attempted to combine two divergent characters. The various captions and seals in the upper right hand corner of this outstanding print have partially flaked off or have been obscured by newly applied mica.

Mutiaux; Dorothy Bess, Ashville, N. C.; N. Chaikin, Tolochenaz (April 1967)
Riese Collection #93

This double portrait is one of Sharaku’s rarer mica ground prints; only four other impressions seem to be known: The Chicago impression, reproduced in Suzuki and Henderson and Ledoux, the Berlin impression (catalogue no. 68), the Tōkyō National Museum impression (catalogue no. 2350), and the Vever impression (Sotheby’s, London, 26 March 1975, no. 242). All these impressions are trimmed, and all except the Berlin impression seem to be faded.
The subject of the print is unclear. Onayo is holding the pommel of a sword and Tomiemon is leaning toward her as though to hear a whispered message. The signature, publisher’s mark and censorship seal in the upper right-hand corner of the print first flaked off when the original mica became disengaged from the paper. The mica was renewed at a later date, and what was left of the printed inscription was obscured.

Reproduced in Vignier and Inada, Kiyonaga, Buncho, Sharaku, no. 284, pl. LXXXV
Rumpf, Sharaku, no. 29.
Riese, Asiatische Studien, 1972, p. 104, no. 27.