- Museum number
- Object: (Nigao ehon) Yakusha gakuya tsu (似顔絵本) 俳優樂室通 (Guide to the Actors' Dressing-rooms)
Illustrated book, colour woodblock print. 1 volume. Thirty-six bust portraits of thirty-six actors drawn with poems; with single illustration at beginning of volume. Covers: Original, dark blue. Title slip: Original, printed: "Nigao ehon yakusha gakuya tsu, zen" (Picture Book of Portraits: Guide to the Actors' Dressing-rooms, Complete) on pink slip pasted in top left corner of cover. Contents: 44 leaves: 5 single pages of "Lines to open the preface" (Jo-biraki no serifu), 1 double-page illustration of box at theatre, by Utamaro, 1 single page of author's preface by Shikitei Sanba, with illustration of 'Sanbaso', 2 single pages of notes, 36 single-page illustrations by Toyokuni and Kunimasa "Love Poems for Actors" (Yakusha ni yoseru koi-uta), 38 single pages of "Guide to the Kabuki Dressing-rooms" (Kabuki gakushitsu tsu) and "The Special Spirit of the Supporters of Actors" (Yakusha hiiki katagi) by Sanba, 5 single pages of postscript, 1 single page of publisher's colophon. Inscribed and signed.
- Production date
- 1799 (spring, preface)
Height: 18.10 centimetres
Width: 12.60 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Hillier and Smith 1980
Brown, Louise Norton, 'Block Printing and Book Illustration in Japan', London and New York, 1924, p. 154.
Asano and Clark 1995
An illustrated book containing thirty-six bust portraits of thirty-six actors drawn by Utagawa Toyokuni I (1769-1825) and his senior pupil Utagawa Kunimasa (1773-1810). The text was written and the book edited by Shikitei Samba, and there is a single illustration by Utamaro at the beginning of the volume showing members of the audience in a box at the Kabuki theatre.
Otaka, Sennosuke 尾高鮮之助, "Utamaro no kibyoshi ko, 1-3"『歌麿の黄表紙考（一）~（三）』, ‘Mizue’「みづゑ」, 275-277, 1928, 63-65.
‘Kokusho somokuroku’「 国書総目録」, vol. 7, Iwanami Shoten, Tokyo, 1963-72, pl. 750.
Hillier, Jack, ‘The Art of the Japanese Book’, Sotheby’s Publication, London, 1987, 572-4, 576.
‘Hizo Ukiyo-e taikan’「秘蔵浮世絵大観」, gen. ed. Narazaki, Muneshige, vol. 3, Kodansha, Tokyo, 1987-90, pls. 318-322.
Museo d'Arte Orientale Edoardo Chiossone, Genova (2 copies).
Kyoto Univ. 京都大学.
National Diet Libarary 国立国会図書館.
Tokyo Municipal Central Library 東京都立中央図書館.
Tohoku University 東北大学.
Tokyo University 東京大学.
Waseda University 早稲田大学.
[Main text translated in Japanese below / 以下上記本文日本語訳]
There is also a double-page frontispiece of theatre-goers in the foyer of a theatre by Utamaro and a single-page print of theatrical mask-costume for the 'sambaso' dance, unsigned. The thirty-six half-length portraits of actors are by Toyokuni and Kunimasa, each with a 'kyoka' (comic verse) inscribed in the background.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2001, 30 Jan-8 Apr, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Arts of Japan: Recently repaired paintings, Ukiyo-e IV'
'Kabuki Heroes of the Osaka Stage, 1780-1830'
British Museum, 30th Jun-15th Sep 2005
Osaka Rekishi Hakubutsukan, 1st Oct-23rd Nov 2005
Waseda Daigaku Tsubouchi-Hakushi Kinen Engeki Hakubutsukan, 1st Dec 2005-23rd Jan 2006
- Acquisition date
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Previous owner/ex-collection number: JH.160 (Hillier no.)