Toyokuni III/Kunisada (1786 — 1864)
Pheasants and Warrior, 1860
Intriguing kabuki scene featuring the warrior Koreto Samagoro facing two pheasants in a dramatic night scene. He plants his feet firmly at right, gripping an enormous axe in his hand. The bird in the center looks at him reproachfully as she flutters up into the sky, hovering in mid-air, while the other pheasant kneels on the ground, cowering behind her sleeve. The pheasants wear beautiful kimono patterned with colorful feathers and wing-like sleeves. Samagoro stares at them with a frown, wearing a heavy black print kimono over a suit of armor. A large hollow ginkgo tree fills the background against a dark night sky. From left, the actors are Iwai Kumesaburo II, Sawamura Tanosuke III, and Nakamura Shikan IV.