Kunichika - 100 Roles of Baiko

Kunichika - 100 Roles of Baiko

The theatre was a lifetime passion of Kunichika's. In 1893, Kunichika was commissioned by a publisher and a printer (Fukuda Kumajirō and Gusokuya Kahei) to create the series "One Hundred Roles of Baiko," chronicling the various characters played by the famous actor Onoe Kikugoro V, whose stage name was "Baiko". Baiko was the son of an actor and theater owner. During this time in Japan, Kabuki had become a popular art form and Actors like Baiko were big celebrities. If we look at the salaries of the time (around 1880's), a policeman would make about 80 yen a year, the popular Kabuki stars could make 1,500 Yen a year (that's $800K in todays money). He was the foremost actor of domestic dramas or sewamono and also one of the pioneers of zangirimono, or "cropped-hair plays," These were called because of the fashionable Western-style haircuts the actors wore.   Kunichika the artist, and Baiko were friends, often hanging out together backstage drinking tea and chatting.

This series is in a vertical format called "oban". If we start from the top left (please refer to the image below), we see the description of the role Baiko's playing and the play name. Next to that is a small image of a supporting actor in the play, to the right of that in the black rectangle is the series title "100 roles of baiko". The main area of the print is our star Baiko in a 1/2 length portrait. On the left border we see the number of the print, address of the printer and publisher along with the publication date and at the bottom left the publishers seal.  On the right side we see the The carver's name and Kunichika's signature. All the prints in the series follow a similar convention, so they are easy to recognize. This series, also uses special printing techniques like blind embossing, metallic inks, and mica powder.


100 Roles of Baiko about the series


The Baiko series is really a fantastic accomplishment - and no other artist I know did a 100 print series of a Kabuki actor. Kunichika in fact did two 100 print series, this one and one of 100 prints of another famous actor Ichikawa Danjuro. These prints are very affordable and collectable. We only have about 60 of the 100 prints in the series Note: The prints in this collection below are not for sale BUT we may have some duplicates for sale if you do a search for "Baiko".


Frontspiece title sheet for 100 roles of baiko
baiko ghost monk
Baiko dogen the evil
baiko woodcutter
baiko samurai
Baiko brick layer
Baiko Ghost
Baiko prince
Baiko samurai 2
Baiko crows
baiko archer
Baiko nurse
Baiko geisha
baiko hag
Baiko samurai 2
baiko ghost 2
baiko swimmer
Baiko geisha 2
Baiko Spencer
Baiko ghost 3
Baiko Candyman
baiko samurai japan
100 roles of baiko samurai
Baiko with skull kimono
Baiko kunichika print
Zen Master Minamoto no Sanetomo
Mori Ranmaru
Mito Komon is played by Ichikawa Danjuro
Onoe Kikugorō V as the Sister Princess
baiko print
baiko actor print
print of onoe baiko
Baiko woodblock print
Baiko print
Baiko woman
baiko woodprint ukiyo-e
baiko print kunichika
Baiko woodblock print series
Baiko Onnagatta
Omatsuri Sashichi
Hachiro Amano
somei gallery
Baiko print
baiko onoe kikugoro
baiko actor print
baiko with mask
dragon kimono samurai
Baiko print
Baiko samurai
Baiko pink kimono
Baiko onoe kikugoro V
Japanese actor onoe kikugoro
100 roles of baiko
Baiko print
Onoe Baiko woodblock
onoe baiko picture
onoe baiko in female role
baiko 100 roles
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