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

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
Dimensions:
Hashira-e 62.9 x 9.9 cm
Object number: 926.18.150
Credit Line: Sir Edmund Walker Collection
Not on view
DescriptionThe Osome-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. Kikunojō is identifiable by the yui-wata crest on the battledore, as well as on his robes. The poem, by Jōa, reads: Omoi-some, mi-some Osome no hana musume (Start thinking of her and you start to see her—Osome, the flower of maidens! (trans. David Waterhouse). The 'some' of the name Osome 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, when the play was performed. It is unclear whether Osome and Hisamatsu actually played at battledore and shuttlecock (hago-ita) in the performance itself, or if this is just auspicious imagery contrived by the artist.
Collection:
Japan
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