Souvenirs of the Eastern Capital on the Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido: The Actor Onoe Baiko III as the Cat Spirit of the Old Temple

Artist: Kagematsu (fl. 1840-1841)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1841
Ink, color and brass on paper
H x W (overall): 37.3 x 25.5 cm (14 11/16 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, cat, Edo period (1615 - 1868), fan, Japan, oban, portrait, temple, theater, ukiyo-e
Provenance research underway.

Onoe Kikugoro III  (1784-1849) is identified in this print by his earlier name, Onoe Baiko. He had acquired the name Kikugoro, the most prestigious of the Onoe line, in 1815, when he was just over thirty. An exceptionally versatile actor, he was adept at hayagawari (quick-change) roles. An innovation of Osaka actors in the late eighteenth century, hayagawari became widely popular in kabuki during the early nineteenth century. Here Kikugoro enacts the role of a female spirit in the form of a giant cat, who appears as a shadow in the background. The actor wears a disheveled white wig of a style associated with demons, ghosts, or madness. His robes are ornamented with butterflies caught in spiders' webs. This print portrays Kikugoro in a role he performed after returning to the stage from retirement in 1841. He retired and returned to acting several times before his death.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 68, pp. 188-189.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.