Kunisada (Toyokuni III)

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III)


Current Patterns of the Underworld: Actor Nakamura Fukusuke I as Yamaneko Sanji
(Jidai moyo ataru shiranami: Nakamura Fukusuke, Yamaneko Sanji)

signed Toyokuni ga within artist's Toshidama cartouche, with publisher's seal Uo-ya (Sakanaya Eikichi), block cutter's seal, Yokokawa Hori Take, and censor's seal Aratame hitsuji-roku (examined, year of the goat [1859], 6th month)

oban tate-e 14 5/8 by 10 in., 37.3 by 25.5 cm

This rare series presenting actors in roles of villains appears to be a stylistic precursor to Kunisada's series, Contest of Magic Scenes by Toyokuni, which began to be issued only two years later, from circa 1861-64. As there are scant examples extant or published from this series, it is unknown how many designs were actually issued. The series title has been amusingly translated elsewhere as 'Thieves are a Sign of the Times.'

Andreas Marks, Publishers of Japanese Woodblock Prints: A Compendium, 2011, p. 277 (for series)

price: $750


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