Kunisada (Toyokuni III)

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)


Backstage: Nakamura Shikan IV

signed Kio Toyokuni ga within Toshidama cartouche, with block carver's seal Yokokawa Hori Iwa, publisher's seal Kinkaido shi (Tsujiya Yasubei), combined censor and date seal, Tori-juni, aratame (year of the Tiger [1861], 12th month, examined), 1861

oban tate-e 14 1/2 by 9 3/4 in., 36.8 by 24.9 cm

The actor Nakamura Shikan IV (1831-99) is seated before a red lacquer mirror stand as he puts on a wig with the help of an attendant, unseen except for his hands, whose holds a hair pick at the ready to fix the coiffure. Shikan IV, the son of a former kabuki actor who had become a backstage manager in Osaka, took to the stage at an early age. Having already performed as a child in Osaka, Shikan was adopted by another actor from the same Nakamura clan who brought him to Edo where he developed further and became one of the most successful and versatile actors of his time, touring widely throughout Japan.

Edo Tokyo Museum, acquisition no. 91200235
Waseda University Theatre Museum, acquisition no. 120-0214

price: $900


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