The Actor Ichikawa Komazo II

Artist: Ippitsusai Bunchō 一筆斎文調 (active ca. 1755-1790)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1/15/1769
Ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 31.3 x 14.2 cm (12 5/16 x 5 9/16 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, bamboo, Edo period (1615 - 1868), hosoban, Japan, kabuki, portrait, theater, ukiyo-e, yakusha-e
Provenance research underway.

Active in the early phase of full-color printing, the artist Buncho developed a distinctive style of portraying actors. Here Ichikawa Komazo II (later Matsumoto Koshiro IV, 1737-1802) poses with his sleeve extended to display his crest and the luxurious pattern of a phoenix against the green ground of his kimono. His colorful and extravagant costume is appropriate for his role as a high-ranking warrior in a period play on the subject of the Soga brothers' vendetta to avenge their father's death. The scene takes place in a brothel in the Yoshiwara, where a courtesan's tobacco smoking set rests on the floor.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 8, pp. 68-69.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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