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Three Kabuki Actors (1852)

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10 copies left in stock ⏳
  • Capturing the beauty of the original artwork

    Every one of our prints is made using the Giclee printing process, for a museum-quality look and feel that does justice to the original art.

    Giclee printing is the gold-standard for preserving the meticulous detail and stunning colors that we love in the Japanese masters. All our prints are fade and fingerprint resistant, so you can enjoy their beauty for years to come.

    We chose to offer 12”x18” (30cm x 45cm) as this was closest to the “chuban” size sheets used for woodblock prints historically.

    All of our prints come with matte finish for a more authentic appearance.

    Framing Options:

    • Unframed
    • Framed - black
    • Canvas wrap

    Ready-to-Hang and Made to Last

    Mounting brackets are included and centered on our framed prints and canvas wraps.

    All of our prints are made to last, with fade-resistant colors and materials. See how they arrive in the unboxing videos below.

  • About the Art

    In the dark of night three kabuki actors, robed in magnificent brocade costumes and skins, look to each other and prepare to fight. Clutching their weapons and expressing the intensely evocative 'mie pose' - the crossed-eyes - their emotion radiates.

    Although unnamed, these prints most likely derive from the play "The Heroic Tales of Jiraiya". On the left is Ichikawa Danjûrô VIII playing the lead role of Jiraiya, in the centre is Arashi Rikan III in the role of Takasago Yûminosuke, and on the right is Ichikawa Kuzô III in the role of Orochimaru. A tale of honour, revenge and witchcraft, the name ‘Jiraiya’ translates literally to mean ‘young thunder’, Jiraiya originates from a Japanese folk story based around a character that rides a toad. This triptych is a 'Tachimawari', a fight scene, that is stylized to the point of becoming a dance and contains a bounty of symbolism.

    In the legend, Jiraiya seeks revenge for the death of his family by Orochimaru, a shapeshifter who can turn into a serpent and whose name translates to ‘giant snake’. Spending years hiding in a deep valley, Jiraiya trains to become a ninja and learns shapeshifting magic himself; the power of the giant toad. The beautiful maid Tsunade also trains, and learns the secret arts of the slug. During their training, their master tells them a story: a toad is more powerful than a slug, a slug is more powerful than a snake, and a snake is more powerful than a toad, so when all three come together to fight, there is no winner. This triangular balance of power is called 'sansukimi'.

    In Orochimaru’s kabuki villain make-up, or 'kumadori', you can see black outlined eyes, suggestively drawn eyebrows and lines that downturn his mouth, exaggerating his evil features. The blue tinge is also suggestive of bad qualities; jealousy and fear. On the evil Orochimaru’s kimono are patterns of waves, symbols of an unstoppable tide, more often used on army banners to signify fighting strength.

    On the kimono of Jiraiya are hexagons, which allude to the shell of a tortoise, signifying longevity, good fortune and strength and was often used in Samurai armour designs. On Yûminosuke’s robes are patterns of peonies, which were seen as ‘king of the flowers’ and are a symbol of high nobility and wealth.

  • We're proud to offer a shipping policy that compares favorably with any online retailer.

    🇺🇸 | United States
    🇬🇧 | United Kingdom
    🇨🇦 | Canada
    Fine Art Prints (Unframed); Canvas Wraps
    🇨🇦 | Canada
    Framed Prints
    🇦🇺 | Australia
    Fine Art Prints (unframed) only. (Canvas and framed prints not available due to import laws).
    🇮🇪 | Ireland
    🇪🇺 | EU
    🇳🇿 | New Zealand
    Fine Art Prints (Unframed)
    🇳🇿 | New Zealand Canvas Wraps and Framed Prints $20-35
    🌏 | Worldwide
    Premium Giclée Prints (unframed) only.
    🌏 | Worldwide Framed Prints $50

    You can find full details regarding shipping and delivery here.

    We're sure you'll love your prints. However, if there are any problems with the printing, we're happy to offer a free exchange or refund 100% of the purchase price. Simply return the print within 30 days. For full details of our refunds and exchanges policy click here.

How Your Art Arrives

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