Above the title is the name of the actor: “Ganso Segawa Roko (or Kikunojo).” Japan: early Meiji.
A rare survival, this finely rendered example of yakusha-e (actor prints) depicts a cross-dressing kabuki actor named Segawa Roko (1693-1749), well-known for his performances of female roles. The reverse side bears two motifs, which seem to be for additional detail on the actor’s kimono. When shown vertically, on the bottom left corner of both sides is a notch called a kento, which would help with the registration of the image. Yakusha-e was one of the most popular genres of ukiyo-e prints.
The artist and carver are unknown, however we find the carved seal of Wakai Kenzaburo (or Kanesaburo) (1834-1908), the art dealer and business partner of Hayashi Tadamasa. Kenzaburo became one of the principal exporters of Japanese art and curiosities to Europe.
In fine condition.
Item ID: 7081