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Osome and Hisamatsu

Kunisada I (Toyokuni III), 1849, Wood cut
Osome and Hisamatsu
Osome and Hisamatsu
Osome and Hisamatsu
Library Item
Item no
Osome and Hisamatsu
Actor portrait of Iwai Kumesaburo III playing the roles of Osome and Hisamatsu in a quick-change performance. He is shown in character, as each lover, walking under a shared parasol.
The love story of Osome and Hisamatsu, which ends in a tragic double suicide, was based on real events that took place in Osaka in 1708. The tragedy was first recorded in a popular ballad before being dramatized for Osaka Kabuki in 1710 and Edo Kabuki in 1719. Love suicide plays (shinjumono) were very popular with Edo audiences.
The story's outline varies depending on the adaptation but generally 'Osome and Hisamatsu' is a tale of mutual love frustrated by social status. Osome is the daughter of a rich oil merchant and money lender, and Hisamatsu is her father's lowly apprentice. When Osome learns that her parents intend to arrange for her to marry another, she runs away. Hisamatsu tries to persuade Osome to return home but Osome is resolved to die rather than marry another man.
Artist / maker
Kunisada I (Toyokuni III)
37.5 x 26.5 cm.
Art and Design Library
Rights and purchasing
Digital FileElectronic file 72 dpi JPEG
£5.80(inc. VAT 20%)
Digital FileElectronic File 300 dpi TIFF
£29.40(inc. VAT 20%)
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