Kagekiyo 景清
KEY WORD : art history / 1 paintings, 2 sculptures
1 A pictorial subject taken from one of the eighteen great kabuki plays *Kabuki Juuhachiban 歌舞伎十八番, KAGEKIYO based loosely on the life of the late Heian period warrior Taira no Kagekiyo 平景清 (d.1196). Written for Ichikawa Danjuurou 2 二代市川団十郎 in 1739, the play was revised in 1778 by Danjuurou 4. A survivor of the Taira defeat at Dan no ura 檀の浦, Kagekiyo was captured by the Minamoto 源 clan and died of starvation. His life served as a model of righteous resistance despite the certainty of defeat. In the revised version of the play, Kagekiyo is captured but refuses to reveal the location of hidden Taira treasures. When his wife and children are about to be tortured he breaks free from his chains and fights with his captors while his family make their escape. Other images of Kagekiyo which appear in warrior pictures *musha-e 武者絵 include the incidents known as Daibutsuden 大仏殿 and Shikorobiki 錏引. As recounted in chapter 6 of AZUMAKAGAMI 吾妻鏡 and chapter 19 of the Nagato 長門 version of HEIKE MONOGATARI 平家物語 (The Tale of The Heike) in 1195, Kagekiyo, disguised as a warrior priest and carrying a long spear, crept secretly into the Great Buddha Hall, daibutsuden at Toudaiji 東大寺 in order to assassinate Minamoto Yoritomo 源頼朝 (1147-99). At the last minute Kagekiyo was discovered by Chichibu Shigetada 秩父重忠. Chapter 11 of the standard Kakuichi 覚一 version of HEIKE MONOGATARI describes an incident at the battle of Yashima 屋島 in which Kagekiyo grapples with the Minamoto warrior Mionoya Juurou 美尾谷十郎 by grabbing his neckguard, shikoro 錏. The incident is known as Shikorobiki. Notable woodblock prints on this theme were produced by 19c *Utagawaha 歌川派 artists like Utagawa Kuniyoshi 歌川国芳 (1797-1861) and Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川広重 (also known as Andou 安藤; 1797-1858). The theme was also taken up in parody pictures *mitate-e 見立絵, as for example in paintings by Suzuki Harunobu 鈴木春信 (1725-70).

2 A noh mask *noumen 能面 used in the play KAGEKIYO and representing the aged Taira 平 warrior, Kagekiyo, who is said to have gouged out his eyes on losing to the Genji in battle. Exiled to the province of Hyuuga 日向, he spent his days in wretched contemplation. When his daughter sought him out, he was so ashamed of his destitution that he at first refused to reveal himself, but later told her the tale of his last battle. Five distinctly different masks of a blind old man are used: The Kanze 観世 school rendition has a broad, bony face with eyebrows, moustache and beard sketched in with fine black lines. The Kongou 金剛 mask, though much leaner, more suffering, and crossed with bulging veins, shares the painted features suggestive of a deathly spirit. In contrast, the Houshou 宝生 and Kita 喜多 renditions have realistic hair for both moustache and beard, while the Konparu 金春 only has hair for the beard. All three have wrinkle-lined faces that express both the pain of starvation and loneliness and the lingering dignity of a great soldier. While the Houshou mask has deep, sculpted furrows, the Kita and Konparu have lightly etched wrinkles. The earliest Kagekiyo masks were made by the 15c carvers Tokuwaka 徳若 and Hourai 蓬莱 (see *jissaku 十作).

*otokomen 男面

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