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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, which were then followed by second editions 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 on the left. This example is printed with a burnished mica background and metallics of three colors (see Metals 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 a light orange (shifted to a golden-yellow in this scan) 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.

1st Edition (deluxe printing)

Enjaku 1st edition 
  2nd Edition (commercial printing)

Enjaku 2nd edition

Actors: (T) Nakamura Kanjaku as Iwanaga Saemon; (R) Nakamura Takesabu as Keisei Akoya; (L) Nakamura Tamashichi as Habakeyama Shigetada

Play: Danoura kabuto gunki ("The Helmet Chronicle of Danoura") 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 occurred 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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