The Actors Arashi Rikan II as Tsumahei and Sawamura Kunitaro as Magaki

Artist: Hokumyō 北妙 (fl. ca. 1829-1837)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1829
Ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 17.2 x 12.2 cm (6 3/4 x 4 13/16 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, portrait, theater, ukiyo-e, yakusha-e
Provenance research underway.

This small print signed Shunko, the early name of the artist Hokumyo, shows the Osaka kabuki star Arashi Rikan II (Kichisaburo II; 1769-1821) in the male role of Tsumahei, and Sawamura Kunitaro II (?-1836) in the female role of Magaki. As shown here, Nakamura Utaemon III (1778-1838) appears in Osaka prints in double half-length portraits composed to focus on the actors' faces. These actors never performed together in the roles specified in the inscriptions. The print depicts a "dream" performance--one that kabuki fans might like to see--through mitate, an unexpected juxtaposition.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 304, p. 344.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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