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Actor Matsumoto Hyozo as a samurai

circa 1700-circa 1704


No image
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Edo (Tokugawa) period 1615 - 1868 → Japan
    circa 1700-circa 1704
    Media category
    Printing blocks & plates
    Materials used
    carved wood
    27.5 x 14.5 x 1.5 cm; 27.5 x 14.5 x 1.9 cm keyblock and base
    Signature & date

    Signed l.l corner, in Japanese, inscribed in relief "Hishikawa Moroshige zu [picture by Hishikawa Moroshige]" [and "[seal in Japanese] Moroshige". Not dated.

    Purchased 2002
    Not on display
    Accession number
    Artist information
    Hishikawa Moroshige

    Works in the collection


  • About

    'Hishikawa (real name Furuyama) Moroshige was an important pupil of Hishikawa Moronobu, who developed 'ukiyo-e' prints from book illustrations to single-sheet prints. Like many other early 'ukiyo-e' artists, Moroshige worked mainly on illustrations of books - from popular novels to picture books of actors. His style closely resembles that of Moronobu's later works. (Asano Shûgo, in 'Genshoku Ukiyoe Dai Hyakka Jiten', vol.2, Gingasha, 1982, p.97; Yoshida Teruji, 'Ukiyo-e Jiten', vol.3, Gabundô, 1990, pp.345-46.)

    The image is published in Roger S Keyes "Japanese Woodblock Prints", Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin college, Oberlin, Ohio, 1984, p.19. In the accompanying text, Keyes identifies the actor as Matsumoto Hyozo, the Kyoto-Osaka actor of female roles who came to Edo for the first time in the autumn of 1697. However, Keyes attributes the work to Torii Kiyonobu I on the ground that the Moroshige signature is a later impression, and that the image is not characteristic of the artist (p.18). The signature in the published image appears on the left side of the actor. The same signature, however, is cut on the block on the opposite side of the actor. Other notable differences between the published image and the impression off the block are: the line coming down from the outline of the obi in the published image extends into the 'autumn grass' pattern while on the block it is shorter and does not interfere with the pattern; the centre of the plum blossom on the right-hand edge in the published image has been 'scraped off' on the block.

    Asian Art Department, AGNSW, 13 August 2002.

  • Places

    Where the work was made