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'Kagekiyo Emerging from a Rocky Cavern'

Kunisada I (Toyokuni III), 1847, Wood cut
'Kagekiyo Emerging from a Rocky Cavern'
'Kagekiyo Emerging from a Rocky Cavern'
'Kagekiyo Emerging from a Rocky Cavern'
Library Item
Item no
'Kagekiyo Emerging from a Rocky Cavern' ('Kagekiyo gankutsu o tachi suru no zu') from the play 'Kagekiyo'.
The actor Ichikawa Ebizo V (Danjuro VII) is shown in the role of the defeated Taira general Kagekiyo. The cartouche roughly tranlsates as 'Kagekiyo emerging from a rocky cavern'.
In 1156 Taria no Kagekiyo was instrumental in confirming Emperor Go-Shirakawa on the throne. Later, during the Genpei Wars he successfully plotted the assassination of the leader of the rival Minamoto clan, Minamoto no Yoritomo. Kagekiyo was captured at the battle of Dan-no-ura in 1185 and during his imprisonment he allowed himself to starve to death.
A one-act Kabuki play was written inspired by the final days of Kagekiyo's life as a political prisoner. The print shows Kagekiyo's transformed appearance when he finally emerges from the cavern in which he is being held captive. The sticking out hair, furrowed brow and drawn features are meant to communicate his tortured psychological state.
'Kagekiyo' is one of the 'juhachiban', 18 plays selected and popularised by the Ichikawa Danjuro line of actors.
Artist / maker
Kunisada I (Toyokuni III)
36 x 25.5 cm.
Art and Design Library
Rights and purchasing
Digital FileElectronic file 72 dpi JPEG
£6.10(inc. VAT 20%)
Digital FileElectronic File 300 dpi TIFF
£31.00(inc. VAT 20%)
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