eiri kyougenbon 絵入狂言本
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Also known as *kyougenbon 狂言本. Woodblock printed illustrated booklets, published during the early Edo period, which contained synopses of kabuki kyougen 歌舞伎狂言, plays popular during the Genroku 元禄 era (1688-1704). Although the booklets dealt with plays, there were no scripts to these in the modern sense and they were more like novels in the form of outlines of the action. Thus eiri kyougenbon imitated the form of printed books called *ukiyo zoushi 浮世草子 which were also being produced at that time. Generally, a book published in the kamigata 上方 (Osaka-Kyoto region) would have a title strip *daisen 題簽 with the play's name affixed to the left side of the cover *hyoushi 表紙, and to the right would be title slips with the name of the publisher and several star actors. Usually these came in one booklet called namibon 並本, but when a play was a great success the contents would be more detailed, requiring two fascicles published together and called a jouhon 上本. One important kamigata example was the 1688 OOKUMAGAWA GENZAEMON 大隈川源左衛門. From 1688 until the 1739 publication of KEISEI ARASHIYAMA けいせいあらし山 there were roughly 150 eiri kyougenbon published in the kamigata.
In Edo, beginning with the 1697 SANKAI NAGOYA 参会名古屋 and continuing until 1711, there were roughly fifty eiri kyougenbon. In an Edo publication, the cover would have both the title slip with the name of the play and a picture. The names of the print designers in charge of the pictures for these books were not mentioned , but beginning with SANKAI NAGOYA, it is thought that Torii Kiyonobu 鳥居清信 (1664-1729) produced a great many of the illustrations. His unique style of hyoutan ashi 瓢簟足 (gourd legs) and mimizugaki 蚯蚓描 (earthworm lines) is apparent in a number of booklets which contain over ten leaves or pages and around six illustrations each. The eiri kyougenbon died out as a form in the Kyouhou 享保 era (1716-36), but led into the rise of *ehon banzuke 絵本番付.

*kyougenbon 狂言本.

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