Parody of Thirty-six Verses: Ichikawa Kodanji IV as Yaoya Oshichi (as the Green-grocer's Daughter)
Artist(s)Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)Artist NationalityJapanese (culture or style)Object Creation Date1856Medium & Supportwoodblock print on paperDimensions
13 7/8 in x 9 7/16 in (35.2 cm x 24 cm)Credit LineGift of Dr. James HayesSubject matter
Actor Ichikawa Kodanji IV was born to a family of kabuki actors in 1812. He was active in kabuki from 1820 until his death in 1866. He was known for his roles in jidaimono (period plays) and sewamono (contemporary plays) as well as for the techniques of chūnori (acting while suspended from the ceiling) and quick-changes (hayagawari).
The artist, Utagawa Toyokuni III, was notable for creating images of actors in which specific individuals were identifiable. Mitate
(literally meaning look and compare) images were usually indicated by the use of the word mitate
in the title, though it sometimes was omitted and viewers were meant to puzzle it out. This genre often juxtaposed contemporary figures such as kabuki actors with historical figures such as the poet immortals. Edoites enjoyed these layered meanings and would have made the connection between this series and the poet immortals with relative ease.
This print is an image of a woman and three men. The woman wears brightly colored robes with floral patterns. Her hair is loose down her back. The three men wear black robes, and their faces are covered by translucent veils. Behind them, a ladder and scaffolding are visible. At the top of the print are boxes of text. The largest box, on the left, is bordered in blue and contains an image of an incense burner and calligraphy.
Inscriptions: Mitate sanjūrokkusen; Utagawa Toyokuni hitsu (Artist's signature); Sitaya, Aito (Publisher's seal); aratame, tatsu 11 (Censors' seals)Primary Object ClassificationPrintCollection AreaAsianRights
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actors (performing artists)
women (female humans)