Sketchbook depicting Kabuki play Terokoya

Bound album with silk covered front and back covers. Separate protective cover with two ivory toggle closures. Contains thirty-seven illustrations, each the full width of an unfolded sheet, illustrate a farcical Kabuki performance. In the first sequence, a couple offers a box of rice balls which attract great interest from a man perched high in a stand. He falls head first and becomes covered with rice balls. Later, a warrior approaches along the hanamichi leading toward the stage and other action ensues onstage.

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Maker(s)
Artist: Kobayashi Kiyochika 小林清親 (1847-1915)
Historical period(s)
Meiji era, Dated Spring, Meiji 36 (1903)
Medium
Ink and color on paper bound in silk covered album
Dimensions
H x W (sheet and image): 21.1 x 1287 cm (8 5/16 x 506 11/16 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Purchase from the Estate of Robert O. Muller with funds provided by the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries and the Harold P. Stern Memorial Fund
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F2004.9a-ddd
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Album, Painting
Type

Album

Keywords
Japan, kabuki, man, Meiji era (1868 - 1912), WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To 2004
Robert O. Muller (1911-2003), Newtown, CT, to 2004

From 2004
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from the Estate of Robert O. Muller through Joan Mirviss, Ltd., New York, NY, in 2004

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Estate of Robert O. Muller
Robert O. Muller 1911-2003

Description

Bound album with silk covered front and back covers. Separate protective cover with two ivory toggle closures. Contains thirty-seven illustrations, each the full width of an unfolded sheet, illustrate a farcical Kabuki performance. In the first sequence, a couple offers a box of rice balls which attract great interest from a man perched high in a stand. He falls head first and becomes covered with rice balls. Later, a warrior approaches along the hanamichi leading toward the stage and other action ensues onstage.

Inscription(s)

This satirical album begins with an inscription in the form of a seventeen-syllable verse by Ozaki Koha reading:

gei nashi no
yokan wo hadaka no
odori kana

"[A performance] without art [is like] dancing naked in late winter"

On the final page is an inscription dated in spring of the thirty-sixth year of the Meiji era (1903), signed "Kiyochika," with a four-character seal reading "26 Kiyochika."

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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