Ichikawa Shocho II as Umegawa and Kataoka Gado IV as Chubei, 1927 - Beautiful kabuki double portrait of the tragic lovers, Umegawa and Chubei, who decide to commit suicide together rather than be parted in the play "Koi no tayori Yamato orai." Ichikawa Shocho II appears as the courtesan Umegawa, looking over her shoulder with a stricken expression, her lips tightly closed, her eyes wide but seeming to stare off into the distance. Her sweetheart, the courier Chubei, is wanted for stealing money from his firm to redeem Umegawa from her contract, and there is no other escape for him than to commit suicide. He looks up with a determined expression, his brows furrowed as he faces his fate. A terrific design with wonderfully expressive figures set off by a delicately speckled gray background, detailed with embossed lines along the side of each nose and the brows, and pale pink bokashi shading around the eyes. This series was lavishly published by Watanabe in a limited edition of only 150 prints. We've seen this print offered elsewhere online for more than $1,000.
Signed - "Shunsen" with red artist seals "Shun" and "Sen," with artist's "Natori" red seal of approval at lower right corner
Publisher - Watanabe, with "Watanabe ko" seal impressed at center right in subject
Artist - Shunsen Natori (1886 - 1960)
Image Size - 15" x 10" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Drying hole at top left corner. Slight toning, a few spots. Please see photos for details. Good overall.