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Hibi ni tatsu ukina no hatsushio: Sawamura Tanosuke III as Minatoya no Iroha

Accession Number

Hibi ni tatsu ukina no hatsushio: Sawamura Tanosuke III as Minatoya no Iroha

Hirasawa Kuniaki I

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
woodblock print on paper

14 3/4 in x 10 3/16 in (37.47 cm x 25.88 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. James Hayes

Label copy
Gallery Rotation Fall 2013
Hirasawa Kuniaki I
Japan, active 1850–1860
Sawamura Tanosuke [III] As a Female Role
Edo period (1615–1868)
circa 1862
Color woodblock print on paper
Gift of Dr. James Hayes, 2003/1.582

Subject matter
Actor Sawamura Tanosuke III was born into a family of kabuki actors in 1845. He was active from the time he was a child, in 1849. In the later part of his life he suffered from an unknown ailment that caused him to have both feet and parts of his hands amputated.  In spite of his disability, he continued to perform until his death in 1878.  He was best known for his onnagata (“female form” or “female role”) roles and for contemporary plays.

Physical Description
This is a print of a woman seated on the floor.  Behind her is a set of stairs and to the left of her is a red standing lantern. In the front left corner is a partial image of an ink set with brushes and inkstone. The actor is dressed in a kimono of two distinct patterns. Near the base of the kimono and the end of the sleeves the cloth is checkered with blue and black. The second layer of fabric is red with white stripes. The base of the kimono is bordered grey, and a piece of a grey sash with white dots can be seen.  She is holding a brush in her right hand while a scroll with writing is held in her left hand which drapes down over her knee and onto the floor.

Inscriptions: Artist's signature: Kuniaki ga: Publisher's seal: Jū; Censor's seal: aratame, inu 8 intercalary; Minatoya no Iroha, Sawamura Tanosuke

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)
lantern lights
lanterns (lighting devices)
scroll paintings
theater (discipline)

1 Related Resource

Kabuki Images
(Part of 10 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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