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VJP title
Utamaro print showing

 

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Deluxe and Commercial Editions
Enjaku (猿雀)

 

There are many examples of first editions made with special pigments and printing techniques (deluxe or "top quality," jôzuri-e, 上摺絵), which were then followed by standard or "ordinary" commercial printings (namizuri-e, 並摺絵) and late-edition printings (atozuri-e, 後摺絵) using less expensive and less labor-intensive techniques. The Osaka artist Enjaku (worked circa 1856-1866) specialized in bust portraits of actors issued in deluxe, privately-issued editions like the triple portrait shown below.

The example on the left is printed with a burnished mica background and metallics of three colors (copper-rich brass for "gold," zinc-rich brass for "silver," and pure copper; see Metallics Discussion) overprinted on plain paper or over a base color of yellow in the clothing patterns.

A second, commercial edition (shown below on the right) omitted the metallics and mica, relying on the previous yellow undercolor as a primary design element. Other changes included the removal of mica from the pearl of wisdom held in a dragon's claws (a pattern on the black sleeve at the far middle right) and the substitution of a blue for the earlier orange on the outer kimono worn by Tamashichi on the left. These small scans do not fully demonstrate the differences between these editions, but the effect in the second edition is a loss of elegance and richness, although it remains a colorful and effective triple portrait.

1st Edition (deluxe printing, jôzuri-e)

Enjaku 1st edition
  2nd Edition (commercial printing, namizuri-e)

Enjaku 2nd edition

Actors: (T) Nakamura Kanjaku (中村翫雀) as Iwanaga [Saemon] (岩永三左衛門); (R) Nakamura Takesaburô (中村竹三郎) as [Keisei] Akoya (けいせいあこや); (L) Nakamura Tamashichi (中村玉七) as [Hatakeyama] Shigetada (畠山重忠)

Play: Danoura kabuto gunki (The Helmet Chronicle of Danoura: 壇浦兜軍記) performed 11/1858 at the Tenma Theater, Osaka. The original play was written for the puppet theater in 1732, when it was performed at the Takemota Theater. The first kabuki performance took place in 1733 in Osaka at the Kado Theater. In the scene shown here, Iwanaga is urging Shigetada to torture the courtesan Akoya in order to make her reveal the location of her lover, the Heike general Kagekiyo
 

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