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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Renjishi 連獅子, a scene from “Kabuki”


Ranjishi is one of the representive Nagauta pieces for the Kabuki dance drama. The theme is adapted from the Noh play "Shakkyo" by Kineya Shojiro, and is classified as a matsubame dancing; a dance that is performed before the symbolic backdrop of a large pine tree flanked by bamboo, which similar to the Noh play.

Please take note that the scenery has no connection with the dance content.

Tokyo 1861, it had its premiere performance on a Kubaki stage, starring the dance master Hanayagi Jusuke I and his son Hanayagi Yoshijiro.
The story is about the "Shishi" parent and cub living on a high, sacred mountain in China called Seiryozen. Among the towering peak, there is a miraculous stone bridge spanning a deep ravine, and the other side of the bridge is the land where the deity Monju dwells ... "Buddish paradise".
A "Shishi" is a mythological lion-like animal said to be the king of beasts and associated with the Buddhist devity Monju.

The parent "Shishi" not only need to train the cub physically, they also need to foster courage and strenght in the yound "Shishi".
The parent "Shishi" gather his courage and push the young shishi into the deep ravine. If the yound "Shishi" can climb back up again.
The dance performance is basically dividual into 3 main sections.

The maki-e painting on the Pelikan pen is the last dance of the performance, which the "Shishi" reappear as "real" Shishi with long hair and cosmetic.
The Pelikan Renjishi is one of our favor in our collection.

Artisan Shozo Nakamura uses the combination of togidashi technique and takamakie technique to skillfully crafted this beauty "Renjishi" maki-e pen; parent "Shishi" on the cap, and the young "Shishi" on the barrel. Takamakie is a technique which a sprinked design is applied with numerous layers of black lacquer, then polished until the design reappears and is flush with the surface.

Takamakie technique is very different. This is a technique which powders are spinkled over the lacquer which had been mixed with a thickening agent (such as clay or charcoal) to create a raised surface - high relief lacquer.
The combination of maki-e technique is also known as Kaga Togisdashi technique.
Pen Details:
Model Name: RenjiShi 連獅子
Artisan: Shozo Nakamura
Production Year: 2009
Materials: Lacquer
Nib: 18k two tones gold nib, M
Size: Souveran 1000
Filling system: Piston
Trim: Metal gold plated
Pieces Produced: 88 (individually number)

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