The Actor Onoe Kikugoro III as the Ghost of Yonakiishi

Maker(s)
Artist: Utagawa Sadanobu 歌川貞信 (1809-1879)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1841
Medium
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 36.7 x 24.6 cm (14 7/16 x 9 11/16 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Collection
Anne van Biema collection
Accession Number
S2004.3.295
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Print
Type

Woodblock print

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

Anne van Biema American, 1915 - 2004

Label

The prominent Edo actor, Onoe Kikugoro III (1784-1849), here performs at Osaka's Kado Theater in a play based on the Fifty-three Stations along the Tokaido (Tokaido gojusantsugi), the main road linking Edo and Kyoto. The actor plays the ghost, Yonakiishi, who wears a dark blue obi tied in front of her kimono. The blue and silver tones create an eerie image against the darkness represented by the black background. The haiku (hokku), signed with the actor's poetry name, Baiko, likens a hototogisu (little cuckoo), a messenger from the other world in Japanese folklore, to a restless spirit who cannot find salvation:

The little cuckoo,
flitting aimlessly,
traverses the path of love.

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. 67, pp. 186-187.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum