who will remember their names?
The title of the series is on a narrow yellow panel in the top right-hand corner, and the sub-title of the illustration on a red panel in the opposite corner, on each plate. Publisher, Sanoki ; below Hiroshige's signature is a red chrysan- themum seal, a device which has not hitherto been noted on any Hiroshige print; and two censors' seals, which place the date of the series about 1846, during the Prohibi- tion period. Very rare.
1. Sub-title : Katsuragawa Renri-no-Shigarami (the name of the drama), which concerns two lovers, Choyemon, a man forty years old, and O Han, aged fourteen, who, despairing of obtaining their parents' permission to marry, resolve to commit suicide together.
Choyemon is here shown carrying his youthful love on his back, to die together in the waters of the Katsura River, a full moon the only witness of their tragic end. One of the best plates in the series of those known.
('captains courageous,' and nursery rhyme illustration, by blanche mcmanus; more from her tomorrow. sinbad illustration from edmund dulac. illustration from 'kling klang gloria' -- a book of childrens' songs -- by heinrich lefler.)
The subject of shinju, or double suicide, was first drama- tized in 1703 by the playwright Chikamatsu Monzayemon, in a play called Sonezaki Shinju. Such dramas were called Shinju-mono, and became exceedingly popular, owing to the beautiful language in which Monzayemon described these tragedies, both with the public and other contemporary dramatists, and it is said their influence was such that the numbers of cases of double suicide increased to an alarming extent.