The Actor Sanogawa Ichimatsu I as Ike no Shoji

Artist: Torii Kiyonobu II (fl. ca. 1725-1760)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1747, 8th month
Ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 31.3 x 14.7 cm (12 5/16 x 5 13/16 in)
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Woodblock print

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

Leaping into the air with his right hand outstretched while grasping his sword in his left hand, the actor Sanogawa Ichimatsu I (1722-1762) portrays the warrior Ike no Shoji. The illustrated play is based on the complex narrative of the fortunes and misfortunes of Oguri Hangan, a member of a family that rebelled against the shogunal government in the fifteenth century. Hangan became a popular subject in Edo-period puppet and kabuki plays. Designed by the artist Kiyonobu, the print represents an early stage in the technical development of color printing, which began to appear in the late 1740s. Two color blocks-one red and one green-are printed in addition to the key block. In this print, the color does not merely fill in areas defined by the black key block, but also represents certain motifs such as clouds and sky.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 7, pp. 66-67.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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