The Actor Nakamura Utaemon III as Kan Shojo

citation

Maker(s)
Artist: Hokushu (fl. ca. 1810-1832)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1823
Medium
Woodblock print; ink, color, brass,and silver on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 39 x 26 cm (15 3/8 x 10 1/4 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Collection
Anne van Biema collection
Accession Number
S2004.3.266
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Print
Type

Woodblock print

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

Anne van Biema American, 1915 - 2004

Label

Nakamura Utaemon III appears here in the role of Kan Shojo (Sugawara no Michizane, 845-903) in the kabuki play, Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy (Sugawara denju tenarai kagami). The performance took place in the third month of 1823 and Utaemon performed seven roles. The play is loosely based on the biography of the ill-fated aristocrat and calligrapher who was maneuvered into exile by his rivals at court. This portrait has a printed wood-grain background and frame with black ornaments that represent iron fittings. The effect replicates an ema, a votive panel presented as an offering at a Shinto shrine. The word hono (offering) is written (right to left) at the top of the frame. A haiku (hokku) signed Shikan, Utaemon's poetry name, expresses his pleasure that with the arrival of spring he can wear flowery robes and the cotton textiles from Kawachi:

Spring has arrived-
so I don flowery robes
and Kawachi cotton.

Translation of poem by John T. Carpenter

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura with contributions by et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 50, pp. 152-153.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum