Kitano Tsunetomi, (1880-1947)
Matsumoto Koshiro V as Sukeroku
album leaf, ink and colors on silk; signed Tsunetomi hitsu with artist's seal Yau-an, ca. early 1930's
Matsumoto Koshiro V (1764-1838) was one of the most famous kabuki actors of the Edo Period. Part of his fame he owed to his pronounced nose, which ukiyo-e artists used as his trademark in their depictions of the actor throughout his long career.
The actor is in the role of Hanakawa Sukeroku, an otokodate (chivalrous commoner) from the play Sukeroku yukari no Edo zakura (Sukeroku, the flower of Edo). Although set in the Yoshiwara, the trials of Sukeroku are modeled after the story of one of the Soga brothers (Soga no Goro) a popular theme revisited in numerous kabuki interpretations. The Sukeroku role is identified by the combination of the lavender or purple towel tied around his head, which symbolizes his love-sickness for the beautiful courtesan Agemaki, and the umbrella, an essential prop utilized during a particular entrance in a tradition established at a performance in 1850. The flower (probably peony) crest on the dark kimono is also typical for the role.
Sukeroku is one of the Kabuki Juhachiban ('Eighteen Kabuki Plays') compiled by Ichikawa Danjuro VII in 1840 as favorites for the family repertoire.
10 3/4 by 9 1/2 in.
27.2 by 24.2 cm
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 for no more than two individuals at a time.
In order to adhere to New York State guidelines visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing.
site last updated
August 5, 2020
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
Join our mailing list...