Kunisada: The Ghost of Yasukata
Artist: Utagawa Kunisada
Title: The Ghost of Yasukata
Series: Mitate Sanjurokkasen no u hi (Comparison of the Thirty-six Immortal Poets).
The Actor Onoe Kikugorô III (or perhaps Okawa Hashizô I) as the Ghost of Yasukata (Yasukata no bôrei). The blue-faced figure stares transfixed at a ghostly flame that hovers in front of him, his shoulders dripping with blood. He fades to nothingness at middle torso, as ghosts do. He is haunting the ruined palace of Soma at Sashima. According to the NGV website, Yasukata lived in the 10th century and his ghost was said to haunt Masakado’s castle, as his father had been forced to commit suicide by Masakado’s enemies. The waka poem here reads “The autumn wind is blowing and still you do not visit; if you were silver-grass at least you would rustle at me”.
Condition: Excellent impression and color. Very good condition. Light backing.
Dimensions: ôban (36 x 25 cm)
Publisher: Iseya Kanekichi
Literature: Pictured in “Something Wicked from Japan”, page 50 in a double-page spread. See MFA and BM websites.
Signature: Toyokuni ga