W240xL360mm, Japan

This is a Japanese wood block print by the artist Kunichita, published in 1862 by Hiranoya.  Kunichita was the founder of the Toyohara School and was one of the most famous ukiyo-e artist of his time.  His love with the Kabuki theater led him to work on ukiyo-e actor prints (prints of the kabuki actors and scenes from the popular plays).  In 1867, he was commissioned by the Japanese government to produce 10 pictures for the World Exhibition in Paris.  This exhibition strengthen the Japonism influence in the European art world.

This print is about the Kabuki play where monk Sogen (played by Bando Hikosaburo) became infaturated with the beautiful courtesan Orikotohime (played by Sawamura Tanosuke).  For this Sogen was expelled from the temple, tragically  Orikotohime died and he was left alone.