The Actor Ichikawa Ebijuro I as Teraoka Heiemon

Artist: Shunkōsai Hokushu 春好斎 北洲 (fl. ca. 1810-1832)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1822
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 38.7 x 25.7 cm (15 1/4 x 10 1/8 in)
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Woodblock print

actor, Anne van Biema collection, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, kabuki, oban, poems, portrait, theater, ukiyo-e, WWII-era provenance, yakusha-e
Provenance information is currently unavailable

In this print, which is the left print of a triptych (see also S2004.3.260), Ichikawa Ebijuro I plays the character of a kabuki policemen known as torite.  The bold, patterned background, a common feature in Osaka actor prints, is rendered in reserve, and is based on the actor's family crest.

The poem inscribed on the print praises Ebijuro's sword performances, referring to the phrase, "a thousand ryo actor," or one who deserves an extravagant salary:

 He receives rave reviews
 for taking lead roles
 in sword-fight scenes-
 surely done well enough
 to deserve a thousand ryo.

Translation of poems by John T. Carpenter

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 47, pp. 148-149.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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