Backstage Celebrations of a Full-house Hit at the Nakamura Theater

Accession Number

Backstage Celebrations of a Full-house Hit at the Nakamura Theater

Utagawa Kunisada

Artist Nationality
Japanese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
woodblock print on paper

14 7/16 in x 9 7/8 in (36.7 cm x 25.1 cm)

Credit Line
Museum purchase for the Paul Leroy Grigaut Memorial Collection

Subject matter
This image depicts the backstage area of Nakamura-za Theater following a successful performance.  The Nakamura-za Theater was one of three kabuki theaters in Edo (Tokyo) and home to many famous kabuki actors.  According to early accounts, it opened in 1624.  After several turbulent decades, it finally closed in 1893.

Physical Description
This print shows the inside of a building where several figures move around busily.  Three are seated and appear to be eating at the corner of a red mat that extends off the right side of the print.  Small blocks of text hover near and identify each of the individuals.  

This is the left panel of a tryptich (with 1969/2.143 and 1969/2.144).

Inscriptions: Nishimuraya Yohachi (Publisher's seal); Kunisada ga (Artist's signature); Kiwame, Tsuruya Kinsuke (Censors' seals)

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)
theaters (institutions)

1 Related Resource

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

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted