Antique woodblock print triptych by Toyohara Kunichika entitled “Kabuki Drama of Mount Bandai Eruption with Magic Lantern Slides”, dated September 1888. In this scene, the Kabuki actor Onoe Kikugoro V hangs on to the breaking pieces of a house as the ground shifts and lightening cracks. Two months prior to this famous performance, the volcano Mt. Bandai erupted causing massive destruction and loss of life in Fukushima Prefecture. The play was originally set at Mt. Asama in Shinano Prefecture but was adapted to depict the recent disaster. At the time, photography was being developed and the performance made use of the new technology of Magic Lanterns (photographic projections) on the stage. This print shows the projections, one on the right of the erupting mountain and one on the left showing a peaceful scene just before calamity.
Age: Meiji period September 1888
Dimensions: Frame: 21″ high x 37 1/4″ long