Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)

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kabuki plays illustrated by Kunisada

Introduction


On this page you will find an overview of kabuki plays (and shosagoto or
'dance plays') illustrated by Kunisada. They are listed together with the performing actors and their roles. The plays are sorted by the year of the performance and within the years by alphabetical order. At the moment the list includes about 750 plays, but it’s by far complete. Any additional information will be most welcome!

Many thanks to the scholars and students of  the Waseda University and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum. Without their effort this list would have been impossible to make. Most of the prints published at their web databases are provided with a full description in Japanese. Together with the help of 'Jim Breen's WWWJDIC Japanese-English Dictionary' (http://www.csse.monash. edu.au/~jwb/wwwjdic.html) it was possible to transcribe most of the kanji. And many thanks to Yasu Takano who helped to transcripe a lot of the unread kanji and to clear some of the questionmarks. Also very helpful for this list were the following sources:

·        Samuel L. Leiter, New Kabuki Encyclopedia - A revised Adaption of Kabuki Jiten, Westport, 1997

·        Arendie and Henk Herwig, Heroes of the kabuki stage, Amsterdam, 2004

·        C. Andrew Gerstle, Timothy Clark, Akiko Yano, Kabuki heroes on the Osaka stage, London, 2005.

The titles of the plays are given only as a direct transcription in Japanese. In most cases their translations made little sense to me. I do not want to use any translated titles from other sources in literature. This way I wanted to avoid copying possible errors.
In some cases it has not been possible to find a transcription of the kanji although a hiragana transcprition is provided. I couldn't detect matching Japanese words and decided simply to give the Japanese writing for the title of the play.

The role names are given with kanji/hiragana although I sometimes found more then one way of writing (first part, Kunisada signed kabuki prints). For some names I even found up to ten different variants. However when didn’t find any transcription of the kanji, I decided to stick to the original Japanese writing instead.
When 'x' or 'xx' is used, it means that one or two kanji characters in the transcription are missing. When '?' is used it means that different readings are possible and I choosed the most probable.
All role names are written starting with a capital letter. Name additions (like musume = daugther, nyōbō = wife or others) are started with a small letter.

Don't wonder if one and the same actor is listed for more then one of the roles in a certain play. It's a normal custom in kabuki that an actor plays more than one role in a play.

And also do not wonder if you detect one and the same role in different plays. The titles and the plots of most kabuki plays change with every season (the 'Soga Mono' play for example is known in more then 300 different editions). To make things even more complicated it’s also common practise to mingle plots of two (or occasionally three) plays.

Many thanks to Lucienne Parkan for her tireless help reading "strange" role names.!

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plays 1810/11

04/22

plays 1828

03/22

plays 1848

10/21

plays 1812

04/22

plays 1829 03/22 plays 1849

02/07/06

plays 1813

04/22

plays 1830 03/22 plays 1850

02/07/06

plays 1814

01/22

plays 1831

03/22

plays 1851

02/07/06

plays 1815

01/22

plays 1832 04/22 plays 1852

02/09/06

plays 1816

04/22

plays 1833

04/22

plays 1853

02/09/06

plays 1817

01/22

plays 1834

04/22

plays 1854

02/09/06

plays 1818

01/22

plays 1835

04/22

plays 1855

02/09/06

plays 1819

01/22

plays 1836

04/22

plays 1856

02/09/06

plays 1820

01/22

plays 1837

04/22

plays 1857

02/10/06

plays 1821

04/22

plays 1838

04/22

plays 1858

02/10/06

plays 1822

02/22

plays 1839

04/22

plays 1859

02/10/06

plays 1823

02/22

plays 1840

04/22

plays 1860

02/10/06

plays 1824

02/22

plays 1841

04/22

plays 1861

02/10/06

plays 1825

02/22

plays 1842

04/22

plays 1862

02/10/06

plays 1826

03/22

no prints from 1843 to 1845

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plays 1863

02/10/06

plays 1827

03/22

plays 1846/47

02/07/06

plays 1864

02/10/06

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Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III) kabuki plays - Introduction