An image of The actors Ichikawa Kodanji IV as the ghost of Kozakura Tōgō and as the tea server Inba, in reality the ghost of Tōgō (R), Bandō Hikosaburō IV as Orikoshi Tairyō (C), Iwai Kumesaburō III as Katsuragi, and Ichikawa Kodanji IV as Koshimoto Sakuragi, in reality the ghost of Tōgō (L)

Utagawa Kuniyoshi

(Japan 1797 – 1861)

The actors Ichikawa Kodanji IV as the ghost of Kozakura Tōgō and as the tea server Inba, in reality the ghost of Tōgō (R), Bandō Hikosaburō IV as Orikoshi Tairyō (C), Iwai Kumesaburō III as Katsuragi, and Ichikawa Kodanji IV as Koshimoto Sakuragi, in reality the ghost of Tōgō (L)

Location
Not on display
Further information

Utagawa Kuniyoshi was an artist famed for his extraordinary illustrations of scenes from literature and legend as well as the popular Japanese theatre. He was also a teacher of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi and Kawanabe Kyôsai.

This scene from a kabuki play of 1851 was based on true events of 1653, with the names of the characters and era of the incidents changed to avoid censorship. It is a rare kabuki play about political protest and the plight of farmers whose livelihoods were destroyed by a greedy daimyo (lord). The character of Tōgo, a mayor who challenged the daimyo, was based on the historical figure Sakura Sōgo (Sōgorō). Crucified for his impudence, after death he haunted those responsible for the suffering of his townspeople.

Year
1851
Media
Print
Medium
woodblock print; ink and colour on paper, diptych
Dimensions
37.7 x 52.2 cm
Credit
Yasuko Myer Bequest Fund
Accession number
141.2019