Natori Shunsen: The actor Ichikawa Sadanji II as Narukami Uejin - Honolulu Museum of Art

Artist: Natori Shunsen

Title: The actor Ichikawa Sadanji II as Narukami Uejin

Date: 1926

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Source: Honolulu Museum of Art
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This print illustrates the actor in the title role of a “rough style” (aragoto) play that was revitalized in 1910. In the drama, the evil priest Narukami imprisons the rain god in a cave to punish his rival, the emperor. A princess sent from the court seduces the powerful Narukami and releases the rain god. At the play's climax, Narukami becomes enraged and strikes his famous mie (wrathful pose). As seen in this print, his fierce eyes, sinister upturn of the brows, and compressed, frowning mouth express the villainy of Narukami’s character. (from Natori Shunsen exhibition 8/7/2006-)

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