An image of The actors Onoe Kikugorō V as the ghost of Saijirō (above), Bandō Kakitsu I as Kanbara Mikinosuke and Onoe Matsusuke as the attendant Gonbei (below)

Toyohara Kunichika

(Japan 1835 – 1900)

The actors Onoe Kikugorō V as the ghost of Saijirō (above), Bandō Kakitsu I as Kanbara Mikinosuke and Onoe Matsusuke as the attendant Gonbei (below)

Location
Major exhibition gallery
Further information

From about the age of 12, Toyohara Kunichika studied under the renowned artist Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III, 1786–1865). Kunichika was a committed kabuki fan and his work often showed scenes from famous plays with great actors captured at particularly dramatic moments. His use of the vertical format was especially suited to portraying the extended diaphanous forms of ghosts. In ‘The tale of the Inaba novice on a rainy evening’, a bloodied spectral character played by the actor Onoe Kikugorō V rises above his co-stars. The fireball (hitodama) signifies the otherworldliness of the scene.

Place of origin
Japan
Period
Japan: Meiji period 1868–1912
Year
1887
Media
Print
Medium
woodblock print; ink and colour on paper
Dimensions
diptych 74.2 x 25.2 cm
Credit
Yasuko Myer Bequest Fund 2018
Accession number
283.2018