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Old 11-12-2022, 04:21 PM
John Wagenseil John Wagenseil is offline
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I noticed that this is a particularly interesting tatebanko.
In addition to the inset providing a guide to the finished appearance of the tatebanko on the first sheet, there is a second construction guide on the 8th or next to last sheet showing where all the figures should be placed. If you don't read Japanese, no worry, just match up the character next to each figure with the one on the guide. Only the most complex multiple page tatebanko have more than one instructional image.
Second, is the design of the tatebanko, which is atypical.
Most tatebanko of kabuki plays capture only a single moment of the story.
This one shows the entire Chusingura story starting at lower centre, showing the confrontation of Lord Kira and Lord Asano, and proceeding counterclockwise to the judgement and seppuku of Lord Asana, and around through the story to the final revenge scene on the left center and lower side of the completed tatebanko.

On the 8th sheet of this tatebanko is a snow person, which I recall seeing on another tatebank of the revenge scene from the 47 Ronin, and on a previous sheet is a row of buildings that looks familiar. This suggests that the creator of this tatebanko authored other tatebanko, and is reusing parts, or that tatebanko creators copied from each other. I have seen tatebanko, particularly of the Yoshiwara that were obviously plagiarized from another so there was a lot of re-use of ideas by tatebanko artists.

I wonder for whom a tatebanko such as this one was produced. A tatebanko of this size and complexity seems to be too difficult to be an amusement for children, especially as it presumes a familiarity with a lengthy Kabuki production. This seems more on the order of an adult pastime.
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