The Culture of Play: Kabuki and the Production of Texts

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Ihara Saikaku, Kōshoku gonin onna (“Five Women Who Loved Love,” 1686).

Chikamatsu Monzaemon, Shinshū kawa-nakajima kassen (“Battles at Kawa-nakajima,” 1721).

Ryūkōsai Jokei, Yakusha mono iwai (“A Celebration of Actors,” 1784).

The haiku poem is presented as if by the actor himself, although it could be by the artist Ryūkōsai, who published a book of haiku.

Shōkōsai Hanbei, Shibai gakuya zue (“Theater Behind the Scenes,” 1800-02).

The one on the right is by Sawamura Kunitarō I.

Shōkōsai Hanbei, Shibai gakuya zue (“Theater Behind the Scenes,” 1800-02).

The haiku poems beside are by poets of the day, in praise of the actors.

Shōkōsai Hanbei, Masukagami (Mirror of Actors, 1806).

Courtesy of the British Museum.

Shōkōsai Hanbei, Masukagami (Mirror of Actors, 1806).

Courtesy of the British Museum.

Shōkōsai Hanbei, Masukagami (Mirror of Actors, 1806).

Courtesy of the British Museum.

Print privately produced in 1805 (surimono), in Amata kyakushokujō (a series of albums of theater sources).

Courtesy of the Waseda University Theater Museum.

Print privately produced in 1805 (surimono), in Amata kyakushokujō (a series of albums of theater sources).

Courtesy of the Waseda University Theater Museum.

Print privately produced in 1805 (surimono), in Amata kyakushokujō (a series of albums of theater sources).

Courtesy of the Waseda University Theater Museum.

A print by Ashifune privately produced in the fifth month of 1813 (surimono), in Nishizawa Ippō harikomichō.

Courtesy of the Waseda University Theater Museum.

Single-sheet actor print issued in the first month of 1821.

The poem is by Kitsusaburō in his own calligraphy.

An anonymous single-sheet actor print produced in the eleventh month of 1815.

Kunihiro print of the actor Arashi Kichisaburō II in the role of Akizuki, for a performance in the second month of 1816.

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