The Actor Ichikawa Danzo V as Kato Masakiyo


Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi 歌川国芳 (1797-1861)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1833
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 36.3 x 24.8 cm (14 5/16 x 9 3/4 in)
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Anne van Biema collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Woodblock print

actor, Anne van Biema collection, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, kabuki, oban, portrait, theater, ukiyo-e, warrior, WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Anne van Biema American, 1915 - 2004


The warrior Kato Masakiyo, played by Ichikawa Danzo V (1788-1845), who acted both in Kamigata (Kyoto and Osaka) and Edo, displays his power as he holds a huge sword and an iron-framed battle fan, turning menacingly toward his right in a mie pose. Masakiyo was a character in the period play Hachijin shugo no honjo, which was loosely based on historical events leading to the ascent of Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616), the first shogun of the Tokugawa line. In the play, in which all the characters have fictional names due to governmental prohibitions against plays based on recent history, Masakiyo is poisoned at a banquet by Hojo Tokimasa, the fictional Tokugawa Ieyasu. But Masakiyo carries on even after the poisoning, traveling by boat to his castle. This print, which is part of a larger multisheet image, embodies the powerful projection of strength and character that made Kuniyoshi's warrior prints a popular sensation.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura with contributions by et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 35, pp. 122-123.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum