Kiyotada IV: Gedatsu - Robyn Buntin of Honolulu

Artist: Kiyotada IV

Title: Gedatsu

Date: Late Meiji, Early Taisho

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Source: Robyn Buntin of Honolulu
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A dramatic kabuki print with bokashi shading, gauffrage embossing, and black lacquer urushi-e, from a series on Eighteen Master Plays of the Ichikawa Family Gedatsu (The Release) is an early play, based on noh drama. The time is just after the Gempei Civil War (1180-85). A service for the repose of the defeated Taira souls has been prepared, but the temple bell refuses to ring. A mysterious samurai enters, and when pursued, hides beneath the bell. Later, when two Taira refugees, one of them the daughter of Kagekiyo, are caught and about to be executed, the figure emerges from the bell as the ghost of Kagekiyo, and attacks the Minamoto. Attempts are made in vain to exorcise his spirit, but when the robe of a saint is placed on his shoulders, he achieves spiritual release. Items 6249-6255 could be nicely grouped.

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