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Title

Bando Shuka I as the courtesan Shiraito of Hashimoto-ya

1852

Artist

Utagawa Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Japan

1797 - 1861

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Japan
    Date
    1852
    Media category
    Print
    Materials used
    woodblock print; ink and colour on paper, ōban diptych
    Dimensions
    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]".

    Credit
    Gift of Dr. James Hayes 2003
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    328.2003.a-b
    Copyright

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Utagawa Utagawa Kuniyoshi

    Works in the collection

    26

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  • About

    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.

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    Japan

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • Glorious, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 May 2017–06 Jan 2019

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