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Asian Art
Artist: Tōshūsai Sharaku, Japanese, active 1794–95

The Actor Arashi Ryūzō as the Moneylender Ishibe no Kinkichi, from the play The Iris Soga of the Bunroku Period

1794

Ukiyo-e: polychrome woodblock print

sheet: 14 15/16 × 10 1/16 in. (38 × 25.5 cm)
Hobart and Edward Small Moore Memorial Collection, Gift of Mrs. William H. Moore
1950.567
In the play The Iris Soga of the Bunroku Period, after the murders of his master and his master’s eldest son and daughter-in-law, the loyal servant Tanabe Bunzō vows to avenge the death of his lord’s family and waits over twenty years for the opportunity. During the intervening years, Bunzō has difficulty making ends meet because of his injured leg. This print depicts Ishibe no Kinkichi, the moneylender who repeatedly badgers Bunzō for repayment of his debts. His set lips and the act of rolling up his sleeves show his spiteful determination to collect his money.
Geography: 
Japan
Culture: 
Japanese
Period: 
Edo period (1615–1868)
Classification: 
Works on Paper - Prints
Provenance: 

Mrs. William H. Moore (1858–1955), New York, to 1950; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Bibliography: 

Elise Grilli, Sharaku (New York: Crown Publishers, 1958), color pl. 10.

George J. Lee, Edo Culture in Japanese prints, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1972), 43, no. 7.

Keizaburo Yamaguchi and Ato Senta Nihon, eds., Sharaku: Shunsho, Shunko, Shun’ei, Enkyo (Tokyo: Gyosei, 1991).

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.