This work depicts a character appearing in “Adauchi Noriai Banashi”, performed as a kyogen by the Kiri-za Theater in May 1794 (Kansei 6). He is a masterless samurai in poverty and is killed for Shiga Daishichi. All of Tsukurisakenoshin’s attributes – loneliness, tiredness, and having an unfortunate life – are expressed in this image. His kimono is a simple deep green, his forehead hair is untrimmed, his beard under his nose and chin is unshaved, and his hollowed eyes make us feel his tiredness. Sharaku skilfully reproduces the quality of the actor’s performance. The hand holding a fan does not seem to have any energy; we can clearly feel how lonesome the masterless samurai feels.
Matsusuke, who later became Shoroku, was a highly acclaimed actor and the father of Kikugoro Onoe III. He performed as monster characters “Kohata Koheiji” and “Tenjiku Tokubei”, and became famous as a result. He died in 1815 (Bunka 12) at the age of 73. He also played an antagonist, Sasaki Ganryu, in this May kyogen; however, Sharaku mainly illustrated this character, Tsukurisakenosuke. This is probably because Sharaku was impressed by this character’s lonesome attributes. We can see Sharaku’s taste in this portrait.