Actor Bando Mitsugoro III as Ko no Moronao

Maker(s)
Artist: Utagawa Toyokuni I 歌川豊国 (1769-1825)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1814:4
Medium
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 38 x 26 cm (14 15/16 x 10 1/4 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S2004.3.116
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Print
Type

Woodblock print

Keywords
actor, Anne van Biema collection, Edo period (1615 - 1868), fan, Japan, kabuki, ukiyo-e, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

Ko no Moronao is the villain who represents the historical character Kira Yoshinaka (1641-1703) in the kabuki plays based on the story of the forty-seven ronin (masterless samurai) who avenged their master's death by killing Kira in a surprise night attack. The great actor Bando Mitsugoro III as Moronao wears robes with long, trailing trousers that were worn by warriors for formal occasions, such as ceremonies in the shogun's castle. The voluminous form of the costume leads the viewer toward the face of the actor, which is frozen in an expression that projects his anger and arrogance. His bulging eyes, highlighted by red makeup, are characteristic of mie, frozen poses featuring exaggerated expressions that are struck at critical dramatic moments.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, with contributions by et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 32, pp. 116-117.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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