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Asian Art
Artist: Katsushika Hokusai, Japanese, 1760–1849

Theatrical Properties for Two Plays Featuring Bandō Mitsugorō III

Fall 1820 (Year of the Dragon)

Surimono, double ō-ban; polychrome woodblock print with gauffrage

sheet: 15 3/4 × 22 1/16 in. (40 × 56 cm)
Gift of Virginia Shawan Drosten and Patrick Kenadjian, B.A. 1970
2018.116.5

葛飾北斎 三代目坂東三津五郎 変化用小道具 江戸時代

By the beginning of the nineteenth century, Katsushika Hokusai’s prolific and celebrated production of surimono had reached its peak. This fine example of Hokusai’s draftsmanship—a large, folded horizontal print—is the result of a collaboration between the artist and the Yomo-gawa (Four Directions Group), headed by the influential kyōka poet Utagaki Magao (1753–1829). It was published on the occasion of the departure of a favorite Kabuki actor, Bandō Mitsugorō III, from Edo to Kyoto and Osaka for thirteen months. The print is divided into two leaves, one with twenty-five poems and one showing the program announcement and theatrical props for Mitsugorō’s farewell performance, arranged on a mat of red felt. The props in the image are each associated with one of the nine roles performed by Mitsugorō.

Geography: 
Japan
Culture: 
Japanese
Period: 
Edo period (1615–1868)
Classification: 
Works on Paper - Prints
Provenance: 

Joan B. Mirviss (dealer), New York; sold to Virginia Shawan Drosten and Patrick Kenadjian, Koenigstein im Taunus, Germany; given to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2018

Bibliography: 

“Acquisitions July 1, 2017–June 30, 2018,” https://artgallery.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/bulletin/Pub-Bull-acquisitions-2018.pdf (accessed December 1, 2018).

Sadako Ohki and Adam Haliburton, The Private World of Surimono: Japanese Prints from the Virginia Shawan Drosten and Patrick Kenadjian Collection (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2020), 124–27, no. 32, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.