Kunisada (Toyokuni III)

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)


Parody of the Root of Yanone Goro
(Mitate-e nemoto Yanone Goro)

each sheet signed Gototei Kunisada ga, with censor's kiwame seal and publisher's seal Ue, Sakamotocho, Kawaguchi han (Kawaguchiya Uhei of Fukusendo), ca. 1838-41

oban tate-e triptych 14 7/8 by 30 in., 37.8 by 76.1 cm

Ichikawa Ebizo V (Danjuro VII, 1791-1859) is featured in the center sheet in a mitate-e (usually defined as a parody, but in this case, perhaps a more nuanced translation would be 'imagined') of the iconic role of Soga Goro. He is flanked by two leading onnagata (actor specializing in female roles), Onoe Kikujiro II (1814-1875) on the right holding a blue and white cup decorated with a prawn ('ebi' for Ebizo); and Iwai Shijaku (Hanshiro VII, 1804-1845) on the left,, holding the long handle of a candle that illuminates the fantastical costume of Soga Goro. The onnagata are dressed in matching garb, combining traditional samurai hakama (pants) and kamishimo (vest) decorated with Ebizo's mimasumon ('3 rice measures' crest) over thier furisode ('swinging sleeve') kimono appropriate for teenage girls.

Reference: Tokyo Metropolitan Library, nos. 41-015, 01-03

(inv. no. 10-5377)

price: $2,200


Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only

Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
Visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing at their discretion.

site last updated
May 25, 2023

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475