The Actor Nakamura Utaemon IV (Changing from Shikan) as Kawata Shozaemon

Maker(s)
Artist: Shunbaisai Hokuei (active 1829-1837)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1836
Medium
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 37.9 x 25.9 cm (14 15/16 x 10 3/16 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S2004.3.288
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Print
Type

Woodblock print

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

Nakamura Utaemon IV (1796?-1852) lifts a stage prop in the form of a palanquin in one of the several roles he played in a New Year performance in 1836 at Osaka's Kado Theater. The performance celebrated his name change to Utaemon upon his adoptive father, Utaemon III's retirement from the name. Performance of multiple roles in the same play, and sometimes in the same scene, tested the actor's skills in portraying a variety of characters from different social classes. Here the actor demonstrates the great physical strength of his character by lifting an ornately decorated palanquin, a vehicle usually carried by two or more attendants in which members of warrior families traveled during the Edo period.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, with contributions by et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 65, pp. 182-183.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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