- Museum number
Colour woodblock print. Actors Nakajima Wadaemon and Nakamura Konozo as Bodara Chozaemon and Kanagawaya Gon in play 'A Medley of Tales of Revenge'; looking at each with hand-gestures. Nishiki-e on paper with powdered dark grey mica background. Signed, sealed and marked.
- Production date
- 1794 (5th month)
Height: 35 centimetres
Width: 24.20 centimetres
- Curator's comments
A striking study in the contrasting characters of two minor villains: a testy customer bound for the pleasure quarters and the stolid boatman who will ferry him there. (Label copy, TTC 1995)
Two minor characters from the same play as no. 141. The characters portrayed are Bodara Chozaemon and Kanagawaya Gon (a boatman). This is a fine example of Sharaku's interest, unusual among 'Ukiyoe' artists, in the more minor players. In some examples of this print the boatman (right) has red make-up across his eyes, apparently applied by hand. The signature is 'Painted by Toshusai Sharaku'.
Smith et al 1990
Wadaemon (right) plays the role of Bodara no Chozaemon, a customer visiting a house of pleasure, and Konozo (left) that of Kanagawaya Gon, the boatman who will ferry him there. Both were minor roles in the play 'Katakiuchi noriai-banashi' ('A Medley of Tales of Revenge'), performed at the Kiri theatre in the 5th month of 1794.
The recently developed genre of the half-length portrait meant that artists could concentrate as never before on capturing the distinctive facial features of each actor. Sharaku went further than any of his contemporaries, however, in his penetrating analyses of each face, exaggerating the peculiarities to brilliantly expressive effect. Here the sharp, angular features of the testy customer contrast comically with the chubby, snub-nosed face of the stolid boatman.
Henderson, Harold G., and Ledoux, Louis V., 'The Surviving Works of Sharaku', New York, 1939, reprinted 1984.
Hillier, Jack, 'Japanese Colour Prints', London, 1966, reprinted 1975, no. 33.
Ueno Royal Museum (Ueno no Mori Bijutsukan), 'Daiei Hakubutsukan shozo ukiyo-e meisakuten', ed. Narazaki Muneshige, Tokyo, 1985, no. 140.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2001, 30 Jan-8 Apr, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Arts of Japan: Recently repaired paintings, Ukiyo-e IV'
2006 Oct 13-2007 Feb 11, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from prehistory to the present'
2018 Oct-2019 Apr, BM Mitsubishi Corporation Japanese Galleries
- Associated events
- Associated Event: Katakiuchi noriai banashi (A Medley of Tales of Revenge) (performed at Kiri-za theatre, Edo in the 5th month of 1794)
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Katakiuchi noriai banashi (A Medley of Tales of Revenge) (play)
- Acquisition date
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: B27