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 itís 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 without kanji/hiragana because I sometimes found more then one way of writing. For some names I even found up to ten different variants. However when didnít 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, nyobo = 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. In some cases different actors are mentioned for one and the same role within a single play. I havenít found any explanation for this yet, but it could be possible that some actor fell ill and another had to replace him. Thanks to this he had to be portrayed in the corresponding print as well.

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 itís also common practise to mingle plots of two (or occasionally three) plays.

And special thanks to Theo de Kreijger for a better English!

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plays 1810/11

03/09/10

plays 1828

01/06/06

plays 1848

02/07/06

plays 1812

03/12/10

plays 1829 02/05/06 plays 1849

02/07/06

plays 1813

03/09/10

plays 1830 03/13/10 plays 1850

02/07/06

plays 1814

03/09/10

plays 1831

03/11/10

plays 1851

02/07/06

plays 1815

03/12/10

plays 1832 02/06/06 plays 1852

02/09/06

plays 1816

03/12/10

plays 1833

02/07/06

plays 1853

02/09/06

plays 1817

03/11/10

plays 1834

02/07/06

plays 1854

02/09/06

plays 1818

01/05/06

plays 1835

02/07/06

plays 1855

02/09/06

plays 1819

03/12/10

plays 1836

02/07/06

plays 1856

02/09/06

plays 1820

03/11/10

plays 1837

03/11/10

plays 1857

02/10/06

plays 1821

01/05/06

plays 1838

03/11/10

plays 1858

02/10/06

plays 1822

03/13/10

plays 1839

02/07/06

plays 1859

02/10/06

plays 1823

03/13/10

plays 1840

02/07/06

plays 1860

02/10/06

plays 1824

01/06/06

plays 1841

02/07/06

plays 1861

02/10/06

plays 1825

01/06/06

plays 1842

02/07/06

plays 1862

02/10/06

plays 1826

01/06/06

no prints from 1843 to 1845

02/07/06

plays 1863

02/10/06

plays 1827

01/06/06

plays 1846/47

02/07/06

plays 1864

02/10/06

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Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III) kabuki plays - Introduction