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Nakamura Tomijūrō II as Toki Hime (a, right panel); Onoe Tamizō II as Sasaki Takatsuna (b, center panel); and Arashi Rikaku II as Miuranosuke (c, left panel)

Konishi Hirosada (also called Gosōtei Hirosada) (Japanese, active 1826-1863, died c. 1865)

Written in 1781 and adapted for Kabuki theater in 1794, A Chronicle of Three Generations in Kamakura is based on the Siege of Osaka, a series of battles in 1614–15 between the shogunate (military government) and the Toyotomi clan. To avoid censorship, the time period and character names were changed; however, this subtle reworking of events did not stop audiences from recognizing the original source material.

In 1629, Kabuki performances by women were banned in Japan. From then on, male actors performed both male and female roles. Performers who specialized in female roles were known as onnagata. To cover their shaved pate—an adult male hairstyle required for all actors by the government—onnagata wore purple headscarves. Nakamura Tomijūrō II (right) is shown wearing the headscarf beneath his floral headdress, signifying that he is playing a female role.

Object Details

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