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lordameth
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:13 am    Post subject: Edo Period Art and Theatre Quiz Reply with quote
Hopefully no one minds if I start off with some questions here... No reason Obenjo should have all the fun

So, here's the first batch of some art & theatre questions. Most are fairly tough, I should think, but no more so than the level of obscurity and detail of the Sengoku questions that have been going around.

The rules, as always, are: you can only answer one question within a 24 hour period and you must re-write the question along with its number when you answer it. The best way to do this is to copy and paste the question.

1. How did kabuki pioneer Ichikawa Danjûrô I die?
A. Killed himself while on tour in Kamigata
B. Killed onstage by a fellow actor
C. Succumbed to illness
D. Killed by fugu poisoning

2. Which of the following figures is famous as a kabuki playwright?
A. Zeami
B. Kanami
C. Sôami
D. Mokuami

3. Ranga painter Shiba Kôkan produced ukiyo-e prints under which name?
A. Harushige
B. Sukenobu
C. Harunari
D. Nobuharu

4. Ukiyo-e artist Hokusai produced actor prints (yakusha-e) under which name?
A. Shunshô
B. Shun'ei
C. Shunrô
D. Shunka

5. How did Kabuki actor Ichikawa Danjûrô VIII die?
A. Killed himself while on tour in Kamigata
B. Killed onstage by a fellow actor
C. Succumbed to illness
D. Killed by fugu poisoning

6. Outside of being a painter, what was the profession of Itô Jakuchû?
A. Greengrocer
B. Carpenter
C. Samurai bureaucrat
D. Bookseller

7. Which publisher's seal is this?


8. What is the name of this character from the kabuki play "Shibaraku"?

A. Taira no Masakado
B. Kamakura Gongorô Kagemasa
C. Kiyohara no Takehira
D. Narita Gorô

9. When were the kabuki plays "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura" (Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees), "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami" (Sugawara Michizane and the Secrets of Calligraphy) and "Kanadehon Chûshingura" (Treasury of Loyal Retainers) first performed?
A. 1730s
B. 1740s
C. 1750s
D. 1760s

10. Artist Odano Naotake was a retainer of which han (domain), which was known for its own distinct school of ranga ("Dutch pictures", i.e. paintings heavily inspired by Western oil paintings) painting?
A. Saga han
B. Hiroshima han
C. Akita han
D. Yonezawa han

Good luck!!
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:48 am    Post subject: Re: Edo Period Art and Theatre Quiz Reply with quote
lordameth wrote:


So, here's the first batch of some art & theatre questions. Most are fairly tough, I should think, but no more so than the level of obscurity and detail of the Sengoku questions that have been going around.
I hope I am wrong, I really do, but I think these are way too "high brow" on the cultural side of things that relate to your specific personal interests. Apart from recent lulls, we do generally talk Sengoku stuff to death here, but I've yet to see a single detailed study group or discussion on kabuki or art in the years I've been on the board. Perhaps it is time we do--before starting a quiz as difficult as this. However, to prove I am not the low-brow toilet-talking, sewer dweller, arm chair samurai historian some of you may think I am, I'll take the honor of being the first to answer one of these killer questions.

7. Which publisher's seal is this?


This seal belongs to Tsutaya Jūzaburō who was also known as Tsutajū. He published works by Utamaro and Sharaku featuring portraits of actors and "babes" of Yoshiwara.

*Edit: After I went to re-quote your question to get the image in my answer, I saw the answer in the url code!! Come on, Meth. You got to be smarter than this when setting these type of visual questions up! Laughing Anyway, that website has been in my collection of "favorites" for quite some time as I do collect original ukiyo-e as well as quality re-prints using original blocks or reproduced blocks from the Meiji period. My knowledge of Tsutaya Jūzaburō comes from a fascinating book called The Book in Japan: A Cultural History from the Beginnings to the Nineteenth Century by Peter Kornicki. This book was a gift from a dear friend who may also be able to answer a couple of these questions.
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Last edited by Obenjo Kusanosuke on Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Meth wrote:
8. What is the name of this character from the kabuki play "Shibaraku"?

A. Taira no Masakado
B. Kamakura Gongorô Kagemasa
C. Kiyohara no Takehira
D. Narita Gorô


This is B., Kamakura Gongorô Kagemasa. I knew this since it appears in a Japanese book I have on the Gosannen War (Later Three Years War), which discussed how stories and works of art on the early wars changed they way they were seen by later generations.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:08 am    Post subject: Re: Edo Period Art and Theatre Quiz Reply with quote
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
However, to prove I am not the low-brow toilet-talking, sewer dweller, arm chair samurai historian some of you may think I am, I'll take the honor of being the first to answer one of these killer questions.



ROTFLMAO Borat Woooo! The King
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:14 am    Post subject: Re: Edo Period Art and Theatre Quiz Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi wrote:
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
However, to prove I am not the low-brow toilet-talking, sewer dweller, arm chair samurai historian some of you may think I am, I'll take the honor of being the first to answer one of these killer questions.



ROTFLMAO Borat Woooo! The King
Japanese slapdown That's for mocking me.

Whiz Back to the quiz.... Laughing
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
10. Artist Odano Naotake was a retainer of which han (domain), which was known for its own distinct school of ranga ("Dutch pictures", i.e. paintings heavily inspired by Western oil paintings) painting?
A. Saga han
B. Hiroshima han
C. Akita han
D. Yonezawa han


C. Akita. The daimyo was Satake Yoshiatsu. Naotake was discovered by Hiraga Gennai on a visit to Akita, and rather unusually was given permission by Yoshiatsu to return to Edo with him in order to illustrate Sugita Genpaku's Kaitai Shinsho, the translation of the New Anatomical Atlas which was first published in 1774.

I don't think these questions are too hard, and I think it's a great idea to have something on Edo period art and drama. The lives of many artists and playwrights were often very difficult, given the prevailing culture of Tokugawa society, and looking at the background to the art they produced gives a deeper understanding of history. Thanks lordameth Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
You are all correct, of course! See, these things aren't so hard.

heron wrote:
C. Akita. The daimyo was Satake Yoshiatsu. Naotake was discovered by Hiraga Gennai on a visit to Akita, and rather unusually was given permission by Yoshiatsu to return to Edo with him in order to illustrate Sugita Genpaku's Kaitai Shinsho, the translation of the New Anatomical Atlas which was first published in 1774.


I always thought it interesting that Akita of all places, among the domains furthest from Nagasaki, Tsushima, and Satsuma, and not all that close to Edo either, would end up developing such a tradition.

tatsunoshi wrote:
This is B., Kamakura Gongorô Kagemasa. I knew this since it appears in a Japanese book I have on the Gosannen War (Later Three Years War), which discussed how stories and works of art on the early wars changed they way they were seen by later generations.


Indeed. One of the most famous figures in kabuki, or should I say, most recognizable. And yet, while the average person on the street may be able to look at it and recognize it as one of the most stereotypical, commonly seen, images of kabuki, I think it's fair to say that it's a relatively obscure story, character, and play, compared to, for example, Chushingura.

On my last trip to Kamakura, in April '08, I came across a shrine dedicated to Gongorô Kagemasa.

----------------

As for the fact that these relate too much to my personal interests, yeah, they do. I was thinking about that when I was writing the quiz. Do I need to branch this out more? How? And such. But, these are all questions just off the top of my head. Maybe next time (if we decide to have this continue) I'll have to grab some books and sift through them for random trivia.

Thanks all for your participation!! Maybe this can help get some discussions on the subject stimulated.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Edo Period Art and Theatre Quiz Reply with quote
lordameth wrote:
Hopefully no one minds if I start off with some questions here... No reason Obenjo should have all the fun :)

1. How did kabuki pioneer Ichikawa Danjûrô I die?
A. Killed himself while on tour in Kamigata
B. Killed onstage by a fellow actor
C. Succumbed to illness
D. Killed by fugu poisoning


Tricky quiz. I knew someone had one ready to spring on us a few months ago, but I forgot who. On my first look through the questions I knew some of the wrong answers, but none of the right answers. Given the Ichikawa family's long connection to Naritasan Temple, their questions were the ones that got me researching. Back story complete, I'm going to go with B. Killed onstage by a fellow actor, even though one site I visited said it happened in his dressing room. Could you fill us in on some of details?

Glad to see the Shibaraku question answered too. I was fortunate enough to see this famous scene acted live, but never knew the name of the character represented in the aragoto style.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
I was fortunate enough to see this famous scene acted live


Ooh. Very exciting. I have yet to see Shibaraku performed, myself. It must be quite impressive.

As for the details of Danjuro's death, checking it out on Kabuki21.com, it would appear that you are correct, that he was killed in his dressing room, and not onstage! How about that? Not quite as dramatic a death as being killed onstage - I had this image in my mind of the other actor (Ikushima Hanroku) rushing up onto the stage in the middle of a performance and stabbing him right there, in front of the whole audience.

According to "Danjuro no kabuki annai" (Danjuro's Guide to Kabuki), written by Ichikawa Danjûrô XII a few years back, there are a variety of theories as to Hanroku's motive.

He may have held a grudge for being over for a role; he may have been bullied or teased by Danjuro; or he may have simply been of that kind of character or disposition (i.e. that of a violent person, one with a short temper, etc. Danjuro doesn't explicitly say this, writing only 'that kind of disposition'). In the end, he writes, the reasons behind Hanroku's attack are not decisively known.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Edo Period Art and Theatre Quiz Reply with quote
lordameth wrote:


9. When were the kabuki plays "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura" (Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees), "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami" (Sugawara Michizane and the Secrets of Calligraphy) and "Kanadehon Chûshingura" (Treasury of Loyal Retainers) first performed?
A. 1730s
B. 1740s
C. 1750s
D. 1760s

B. 1740's. (1747, 1746, 1748, respectively)
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Absolutely right! I thought it interesting that these three plays, considered the top three most famous or most beloved or most something, came one year after one another like this.

Also that, while people often speak of Genroku being a golden age for kabuki, the high point of Edo period culture, in fact things were just getting started. In the Genroku period, these most famous and most beloved plays weren't written yet; there were no full-color nishiki-e ukiyo-e prints; the art of the geisha and the complex intricacies of the world of the courtesan likewise wouldn't hit their climaxes until the mid-to-late 18th century, if not later...

But, in any case, 1746-1748 were major years for kabuki fans!
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are still open, if anyone wants to take a stab at it. Have no fear, step right up!
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:28 am    Post subject: Re: Edo Period Art and Theatre Quiz Reply with quote
"OB WROTE:
Japanese slapdown That's for mocking me."

Tatsu writes:

Gap teeth Help me
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
2. Which of the following figures is famous as a kabuki playwright?
A. Zeami
B. Kanami
C. Sôami
D. Mokuami


(D) was my first guess--I'm familiar with Zeami and Kan'ami (and I seem to recall hearing about Soami, but not in connection with Kabuki). Looking it up, I find that there is a Kawatake Mokuami who appears to have been a kabuki playwright.

-Josh
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
3. Ranga painter Shiba Kôkan produced ukiyo-e prints under which name?
A. Harushige
B. Sukenobu
C. Harunari
D. Nobuharu

The answer is A. Harushige de gozaru. I think I'm starting to get a rash. I'm allergic to exposing my high brow side for prolonged periods in public. <<scratch itch scratch itch>> Or maybe the rash is from my soap. Perhaps I should stop using soap and slide back down to my sewer-dweller level. After all, I am a man of the kawaya! Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Meth wrote:
6. Outside of being a painter, what was the profession of Itô Jakuchû?
A. Greengrocer
B. Carpenter
C. Samurai bureaucrat
D. Bookseller


A. Greengrocer-he ran his father's grocery store.

"Kabuki Greengrocer"...There's a Saturday Night Live skit somewhere in there with Brick McBurly taking the John Belushi role...
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
4. Ukiyo-e artist Hokusai produced actor prints (yakusha-e) under which name?
A. Shunshô
B. Shun'ei
C. Shunrô
D. Shunka


Hokusai used so many different names, but I think C. Shunrô was the name he used for his early ukiyo-e which included actor prints
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
And once again you're all correct. I don't know if kabuki and ukiyo-e really count as high culture, though, OB. Sure, plenty of daimyo would sneak out to go to the theatre, but for the most part, these were pretty down and dirty worlds. Cavorting with prostitutes, living outside the realm of the mibunsei..

Reviewing the questions...

Hokusai did originally study under the Katsukawa school, and took the name Katsukawa Shunrô. An exhibit up right now at the Honolulu Academy focusing on the 36 views of Mt Fuji includes some pieces by Shunrô. It's really incredible to see how much they look like Katsukawa work, and not at all like Hokusai's later work.

Jakuchû did indeed work as a grocer.. I love this painting by him, the Vegetable Parinirvana of the Buddha:



Meth's image fixed courtesy of Tatsu

...

Shiba Kôkan has always intrigued me since I was introduced to the fact that he was the same person as Suzuki Harushige. After the death of his teacher, the great Suzuki Harunobu, Harushige continued to produce prints in the master's style, and passed them off as Harunobu's for quite some time.

He fascinates me as someone who was not just an innovative genius in imitating Western modes and styles and methods and media (e.g. ranga), but would also do something so completely different, namely ukiyo-e.

...

Finally, we come to the amis. I never understood why there are so many amis, across centuries and disciplines (arts), from the great Noh playwrights Kan'ami and his son Zeami to the Japanese garden designers Sôami and Zenami to the kabuki playwright Mokuami.

Nagaeyari says he's found the explanation, but I'm still fairly confused.

...

You guys sure made short work of all of that!
I guess that leaves just number 5.

5. How did Kabuki actor Ichikawa Danjûrô VIII die?
A. Killed himself while on tour in Kamigata
B. Killed onstage by a fellow actor
C. Succumbed to illness
D. Killed by fugu poisoning

I know it's super obscure. But give it a try. What's the worst that'll happen? You'll get mocked and chided by obenjo?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
lordameth wrote:
What's the worst that'll happen? You'll get mocked and chided by obenjo?
Whoa, where's that coming from? Have you felt chided or mocked lately?

No, that only happens to people who make butthead posts/comments or make silly speculative posts. You should know that. Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I didn't mean it in a mean, or passive-aggressive way or anything. I swear.

I was just thinking of Bakatono's happy smiling face, and the wacky fun way in which you often word your posts.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
lordameth wrote:

5. How did Kabuki actor Ichikawa Danjûrô VIII die?
A. Killed himself while on tour in Kamigata
B. Killed onstage by a fellow actor
C. Succumbed to illness
D. Killed by fugu poisoning


A. Killed himself while on tour.

The high brow/low brow discussion is quite interesting. Kabuki & ukiyo-e, like most forms of art, were poorly regarded by the upper classes during their early innovative phase. Jazz went through a similar transformation in America.

I think kabuki maintains some of its broader popular appeal today, something like the Japanese equivalent of a broadway musical. Actors such as Ennosuke have also worked hard to appeal to contemporary audiences with flashy stage shows. Throw in KISS finding inspiration for their make up from kabuki and you have yourself an art that might be upper-middle brow at the most!
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Shisendo wrote
Quote:
you have yourself an art that might be upper-middle brow at the most!

Surely far more low brow at the time than the study of history Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
It's true. He killed himself while on tour with his father in Osaka.

Danjuro XII suggests that perhaps Danjuro VIII was somehow caught in a catch-22 dilemma between his obligations to the Osaka producer and other obligations, but goes into no further detail, simply saying that there is a mountain of theories as to why Danjuro VIII committed suicide.

Kabuki21.com, quoting something on the Fitzwilliam Museum (Univ of Cambridge) Website, suggests that:

Quote:
Despite his success, or even because of it, he was plagued by personal problems, perhaps exacerbated by his early achievements and the jealousy this caused among older actors. In 1854, during a tour of performances in Osaka with his father, he was found in his inn with his wrists slashed. He was suffering from massive debts, caused by his lifestyle, which emulated the excesses of his father.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I guess that covers all the questions. Excellent work, everyone!!

I think I'll give it a rest for a bit; I don't really have a new batch ready anyway.

Does someone else want to keep things moving, post a new set of questions? Or shall we let it lie for a while?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
A brief thing about the "-ami" tradition. This was begun by members of one of the Jodo sects, as I recall (I don't think it was the main line, but I could be wrong). People started taking semi-religious art names that included "Ami" from "Amida". It has always struck me that this was usually done by lower class artisans, at least initially. That would make sense, as Jodo definitely appealed to the working classes, for whom it was a practical means to enlightenment whilst still earning a daily living. I can't recall if there was a formula for it, exactly, but it definitely shows a Jodo tendency.

-Josh
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