Collection online

triptych print

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Colour woodblock-printed triptych. Pre-match procession at sumo tournament: wrestlers processing in open-air stadium; champion Inazuma accompanied by bow-bearer at ring in centre; audience in background and foreground. Signed, marked and inscribed.

  • Producer name

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1796
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 37 centimetres (each)
    • Width: 24.5 centimetres (each)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

        centre sheet, image, bottom right
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Transliteration

        Shun'ei ga
      • Inscription Translation

        Picture by Shun'ei
      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

        centre sheet, image, bottom right
      • Inscription Comment

        Mark of the publisher, Nishimuraya Yohachi.
      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Position

        centre sheet, image, second wrestler from left
      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Transliteration

  • Curator's comments

    Smith 1988

    The tournament was held at Ekoin in October 1796. The scene is a curious mixture, the recession well-handled, the wrestlers (admittedly large) shown far larger than life. The artist depicts the daily 'dohyoiri', where the senior wrestlers process into the ring in order of rank, ending with the top-rank 'yokozuna', accompanied by a sword-bearer. The wrestlers were divided into two groups - east and west. The wrestler Inazuma shown at the centre of the ring was the winner of this tournament, but he failed to reach the upper ranks and retired in 1804. The signature is 'Painted by Shun'ei'.


  • Bibliography

    • Hizo Ukiyo-e taikan Vol 2 116 bibliographic details
    • Smith 1988 132 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    2016 January –2016 April, London, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from Prehistory to the Present'

    2001, 30 Jan-8 Apr, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Arts of Japan: Recently repaired paintings, Ukiyo-e IV'

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • B35


If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: JCF14790

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help