The actor Sawamura Tanosuke VI as Satsuki Artist: Tsuruya Kōkei (Japanese, born 1946)

July 1997

Asian Art

The play Kikyō no Hataage tells an embellished version of a sixteenth-century political coup by the vassal Akechi Mitsuhide against Oda Nobunaga, a powerful general. This print by the modern ukiyo-e artist Tsuruya Kōkei shows an actor in the role of Satsuki, Mitsuhide’s wife. In 1978, Kōkei began working with Japan’s leading theater and film production company, Shōchiku, to create ukiyo-e prints to be sold during the intermissions at Kabuki-za, Shōchiku’s theater in downtown Tokyo. Over the next twenty-two years, Kōkei made 146 different prints for this project. His prints evoke the work of Tōshūsai Sharaku, a mysterious late eighteenth-century ukiyo-e artist who is known for depicting actors and exaggerating their facial features rather than portraying idealized versions of the characters. This print shows the actor Sawamura Tanosuke VI, clearly recognizable by his wide nose.


Modern ukiyo-e: polychrome woodblock print on Ganpi paper from Tosa, Kochi prefecture; green mica ground, india ink


sheet: 14 15/16 × 9 in. (38 × 22.8 cm)
image: 14 5/8 × 8 11/16 in. (37.2 × 22.1 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Libertson

Accession Number



Heisei era (1989–2019)


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 records is ongoing.



Herbert Libertson and Roni Neuer (Ronin Gallery), New York; gift in 2010 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
  • "Tsuruya Koukei Official Website," (accessed September 18, 2012).
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

color woodcuts

Technical metadata and APIs


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