Memorial Portrait of Ichikawa Danjūrō VI

Accession Number

Memorial Portrait of Ichikawa Danjūrō VI

Utagawa Kunimasa

Artist Nationality
Japanese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
woodblock print on paper

19 3/8 in x 14 5/16 in (49.21 cm x 36.35 cm);13 5/8 in x 9 1/4 in (34.61 cm x 23.5 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Subject matter
Utagawa Kunimasa was an apprentice and student of Utagawa Toyokuni in Edo. The actor depicted is Ichikawa Danjūrō VI, a member of the Ichikawa lineage.  He died suddenly at the age of 22.

“Death portraits” or “memorial portraits” of actors would often be published after especially popular actors died, and they often depicted the actor in a role for which he had been famous as well as poems and his posthumus name. Memorial portraits for Ichikawa Danjūrō VI are among the earliest examples of these types of prints.  This print shows Danjūrō praying at a waterfall and a fan with a poem written on it laying on the ground in front of him.

Physical Description
Inscriptions: Publisher's seal: (Harimaya Shinshichi); Artist's signature: Kunimasa ga; Ichikawa Danjūrō kyōnen nijūni sai
In this portrait, a man kneels before a waterfall with his hands clasped in front of him.  He is well dressed and wearing a sword at his side.  A fan with writing on it lays in front of him.  Several lines of Japanese are written above him.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
actors (performing artists)
brisé fans
figures (representations)
waterfalls (natural bodies of water)

1 Related Resource

Japan Pax Tokugawa 1600-1868
(Part of: Empires and Colonialism)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted