Monkey trainer and monkey performing a dance

Artist: Style of Iwasa Matabei (1578-1650)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, late 17th century
Ink, color and gold on paper
H x W (image): 28.5 × 33.8 cm (11 1/4 × 13 5/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

child, dance, Edo period (1615 - 1868), fan, Japan, man, monkey, ukiyo-e, woman

To 1903
Yamanaka & Company, to 1903 [1]

From 1903 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Yamanaka & Company in March 1903 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] Undated folder sheet note. See Voucher no. 40, March 1903, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. See also, the object record for F1903.60. The majority of Charles Lang Freer’s purchases from Yamanaka & Company were made at its New York branch. Yamanaka & Company maintained branch offices, at various times, in Boston, Chicago, London, Peking, Shanghai, Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto. During the summer, the company also maintained seasonal locations in Newport, Bar Harbor, and Atlantic City.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Yamanaka and Co. (C.L. Freer source) 1917-1965


These two paintings (see also F1903.60) are sections from a late-seventeenth-century handscroll by an unidentified painter. In one, a boy performs a so-called Narihira odori (Narihira dance), in which the dancer enacts the role of the poet, nobleman, and romantic hero Ariwara no Narihira (825-880). Narihira dances, which feature an elegant costume with a courtier's hat, were often performed by boys and young men in early-seventeenth-century kabuki. In the other painting, a monkey performs a dance to entertain a mother and her children.

Published References
  • Harold P. Stern. Ukiyo-e Painting: Freer Gallery of Art Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition. Exh. cat. Washington and Baltimore, 1973. cat. 15, pp. 36-39.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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