The Actor Arashi Rikan II as Ogata Rikimaru

Maker(s)
Artist: Hokushu (fl. ca. 1810-1832)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1831
Medium
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 37.6 x 25.4 cm (14 13/16 x 10 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S2004.3.273
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Print
Type

Woodblock print

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

Wearing full armor, the actor Arashi Rikan II (1788-1837) plays the role of a warrior who has acquired magical powers that allow him to control frogs. He wears a wig that suggests the character has not shaven his pate for one hundred days, thus producing a disheveled appearance. This type of wig is commonly used in period plays to express a combination of physical strength and evil intentions. The actor himself composed the haiku (hokku) inscribed on this print. It refers to the honor of performing in a New Year production and self-deprecatingly suggests that he is not a famous actor:

 How comforting!
 Even grasses with no name
 enjoy the blessings of the sun.

Translation of poem by John T. Carpenter

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, with contributions by et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 58, pp. 168-169.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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