Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) / Toyokuni III (三代豊国)

Print: The Fifth Month (Satsuki 皐月): Ichimura Uzaemon XII as Shoki (市村羽左衛門の鐘馗) from the series: The Twelve Months (Junitsuki no uchi - 十二月之内)

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Dates: created,1840
Dimensions: 9.57 in,14.29 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese color woodblock print

Signed: Kōchōrō Kunisada ga
Publisher: Tsutaya Kichizō (Marks 556 - seal 03-004)
Censor's seal: kiwame

Related links: British Museum;

Physical description:

There are two prints by Kunisada in the Lyon Collection - the other one is #385 - showing this same actor, Utaemon XII, in the same role, in the same performance from 1840, but in different poses. Another difference is that these two prints were produced by different publishers. This one by Tsutaya Kichizō and the other one by Yamamotoya Heikichi.

In this writer's opinion, it is a treat to find two such similar prints in one collection for comparison and enjoyment.


"The kabuki actor Ichimura Uzaemon XII as Shoki, the Demon Queller, illustrating the 5th month (‘satsuki’) (皐月), from a hengemono dance featuring the twelve months called ‘Hana kyodai nenju gyōji’ (花きょうだい十二月所作); performed at the Ichimura-za in the 3rd month of 1840 (Tenpo 11)."

This information is quoted directly from the curatorial notes at the British Museum.