(Japan 1797 – 1861)
Bando Shuka I as the courtesan Shiraito of Hashimoto-ya
- Not on display
- Further information
Here the kabuki actor Bando Shuka I plays the courtesan Shiraito in the Yoshiwara pleasure district of Edo (Tokyo). The play was first performed in Edo’s Nakamura theatre in 1852. Bando Shuka I was renowned as an onnagata (female role specialist). In kabuki, all roles are usually played by men.
The scene gives a sense of what a pleasure house of the 1850s may have looked like, and the activities that took place. The man rolling up his sleeves is Suzuki Mondo, a samurai bankrupted by his obsession with Shiraito. The figure in the black hood near the centre may represent Suzuki Mondo’s wife, there to attack Shiraito.
- Place of origin
- woodblock print; ink and colour on paper, ōban diptych
- 35.3 x 49.2 cm
a - right sheet; 35.1 x 24.5 cm; image
a - right sheet; 35.7 x 25.2 cm; sheet
b - left sheet; 35.3 x 24.7 cm; image
b - left sheet; 35.7 x 25.2 cm; sheet
- Signature & date
Signed [right sheet; part a] l.l. [in cartouche], in Japanese, "Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi-ga [and artist's red seal]".
Signed [left sheet; part b] l.r. [in cartouche], in Japanese, "Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi-ga [and artist's red seal]".
- Gift of Dr. James Hayes 2003
- Accession number