Tenjiku Tokubei:

Chichu-no Renge (lotus flower on a pond): Tenjiku Tokubei.  The drama entitled Tenjiku Tokubei Ikoku-banashi (story of Tokubei in India) is derived from a tale about Tokubei, a boatman who drifted as far off as Tenjiku (India).  He became a town topic after making a miraculous return home.  In the drama, Tokubei, assumed to be a son of deceased Korean warrior, Mokusokan, is a supernatural and ambitious character.  Pursuing his father's will, Tokubei attempts to invade and seize command over all of Japan by skillfully resorting to witchcraft that conjures a monstrous toad.  Disguised as a blind masseur from Echigo Province, he visits the fort of Umezu Kamon, a provincial lord.  Upon being suspected of his true colors, he jumps into a lotus pond in the garden, out of which he immediately emerges in the guise of a shogun's official envoy.  This instant costume change under water is truly a highlight scene of the play.  The drama, ever since its premiere, was a specialty of the Onoe Kikugoro family.
This picture shows Ichimura Uzaemon XIII, later named Kikugoro V.
Overall dimensions: 13" by 13-1/2" (approximately)

James T. Steichen
Date Last Modified: 28-Jan-2013