Actor Matsumoto Koshiro V as the Fisherman Tomonari

Artist: Utagawa Toyokuni I 歌川豊国 (1769-1825)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1807, 8th month
Ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 38.6 x 25.5 cm (15 3/16 x 10 1/16 in)
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Woodblock print

actor, Anne van Biema collection, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, kabuki, ukiyo-e
Provenance research underway.

Matsumoto Koshiro V, who is portrayed in this print, was a major star of the Edo kabuki theater in the early nineteenth century. His distinctive appearance was recorded in prints that draw attention to  his prominent nose, which led to the nickname "Hanadaka" (High Nose) Koshiro. Artists often portrayed this actor with his face in strict profile, an uncommon pose in actor prints. His acting skills were so admired that younger actors incorporated the natural mole on his cheek into their stage makeup when performing his famous roles. Here, as a young actor, he plays the role of the fisherman Tomonari. In Toyokuni's simple dramatic design, the actor's back is turned to the viewer as he prepares to strike with his unsheathed sword.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 31, pp. 114-115.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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