Segawa Kikunojo II as Aburaya Osome with a battledore and shuttlecock - ROM2015_14593_2


Segawa Kikunojo II as Aburaya Osome with a battledore and shuttlecock

Medium:3-colour woodblock prints on paper
Geography: Japan
Date: 1758
Period: Edo period
Hashira-e 62.9 x 9.9 cm
Object number: 926.18.150
Credit Line: Sir Edmund Walker Collection
Not on view
DescriptionThe O-Some-Hisamatsu plot was one of the most popular love-suicide stories of the Edo period. This print was produced for the same run as the image of Hisamatsu by Toyonobu (Cat. 73). Kikunojō is identifiable by the yui-wata crest on the battledore, as well as on his robes. The poem, by Jōa, reads: omoi-some Start thinking of her, mi-some O-Some no and you start to see her—Osome, hana musume the flower of maidens! (trans. Waterhouse, 44) The some of the name O-Some means “to dye” and has a romantic connotation (feelings are “dyed” with love), but –some can also mean “to start doing something.” Thus, the lines “start thinking of her” (omoi-some) and “you start to see her” (mi-some) also pun on the girl’s name. The theme of “starting” is also appropriate to the New Year, during which the play was performed. It is unclear whether O-Some and Hisamatsu actually played at battledore and shuttlecock (hago-ita) in the performance itself, or if this is just auspicious imagery contrived by the artists.
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