The Actor Ichikawa Komazo III

Artist: Katsukawa Shun'ei 勝川春英 (1762-1819)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, ca. 1791
Ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 32 x 14.5 cm (12 5/8 x 5 11/16 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, boat, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, kabuki, portrait, theater, ukiyo-e, yakusha-e
Provenance research underway.

In this print of a scene that would have been continued on additional sheets of identical format, the actor Ichikawa Komazo III (1764-1838) grasps a sword as he stands in a boat beside a large, iron anchor. This print illustrates details of the stage set and props that continued to become more elaborate in later kabuki performances. Komazo changed his name to Matsumoto Koshiro V in 1801, and under that name became famous as a specialist of leading male roles. His eyes, which he could open unnaturally wide, produced a fearsome expression in evil roles, and his prominent nose led to the nickname "Hanadaka" (High Nose) Koshiro.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 20, pp. 92-93.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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