Actor Onoe Eizaburo I as a Magician with a Giant Toad

Artist: Utagawa Toyokuni I 歌川豊国 (1769-1825)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1809, 6th or 7th month
Ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 25.8 x 24.7 cm (10 3/16 x 9 3/4 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, magic, toad, ukiyo-e
Provenance research underway.

Special stage effects were devised to enhance certain kabuki scenes, especially those involving magic and transformations. This print by Toyokuni, who was famous as a designer of actor prints, shows the actor Onoe Eizaburo I (1784-1849) as the villain, Tenjiku Tokubei, who learned toad sorcery. Here he forms a magical gesture with his hands as he stands behind a giant, fire-breathing toad. Despite damage at the bottom, this print projects a powerful image of a spectacular scene.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 34, pp. 120-121.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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