Artist: Utagawa Kuniyasu (歌川国安)

Print: Pentatych of bijin holding puppets of kabuki actors as otokodate - from the left - Bandō Mitsugorō III (坂東三津五郎) as An no Heibei (安ノ平兵衛), Onoe Kikugorō III (尾上菊五郎) as Gokuin Sen'emon (極印千右衞門), Matsumoto Kōshirō V (松本幸四郎) as Kaminari Shōkurō (雷庄九郎), Seki Sanjūrō II (関三十郎) as Hotei Ichiemon (布袋市右衛門) and Ichikawa Danjūrō VII (市川團十郎) as Karigane Bunshichi (雁金文七)

Bookmark and Share
Dates: 1820s,created
Dimensions: 9.75 in,72.5 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: woodblock print

Signed: Kuniyasu ga (国安画)
Publisher: Uemura Yohei
(Marks 564 - seal 05-007)
Censor's seal: kiwame

Related links: Art Institute of Chicago - far right print only; Art Institute of Chicago - 2nd from left only;

Physical description:

Under pink flowering blossoms the bust portraits of five fashionable young Edoite beauties operating five puppets in the likeness of the Kabuki heroes of the day in the roles of the 'Five Street Heroes'. Highly unusual, inventive and extremely rare.


The otokodate frequently carried shakuhachi> flutes both for playing and to as symbols of their authority because they often used them as weapons. In these prints some of the 'puppets' are carrying them on their backs and can be seen partially poking out. (JSV)