|KEY WORD : art history / paintings|
|The hero of the *kabuki 歌舞伎 play of the same name and the subject of woodblock prints *ukiyo-e 浮世絵. In the play, the commoner Sukeroku defeats the warrior Ikyuu 意休 to win the courtesan *Agemaki 揚巻. At the end of the play it is revealed that Sukeroku actually is the famous warrior Soga Gorou 曽我五郎 (see *YA-NO-NE 矢の根 and *Soga monogatari-e 曽我物語絵), and that he has really been searching for a precious sword stolen by Ikyuu. The play, one of the *Kabuki Juuhachiban 歌舞伎十八番, is famous for the grand entrance of Sukeroku in which the actor pauses dramatically along the hanamichi 花道 and for his provoking stratagems to get various warriors to unsheathe their swords. Created in 1713 for the actor Ichikawa Danjuurou 市川団十郎, the play was performed frequently under various titles in later years. In the many actor prints *yakusha-e 役者絵 by various artists illustrating the play, Sukeroku appears as the quintessential Edo dandy, typically wearing a black *kosode 小袖, with sleeves pressed back to show red lining, purple crepe headband, and a short sword sheathed in sharkskin, while carrying a shakuhachi 尺八 and bull's-eye pattern umbrella.|
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