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Interior View of a Kabuki Theater

Utagawa Toyokuni I

Asian Art

MEDIUM Woodblock color print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 1793
    PERIOD Edo Period
    DIMENSIONS 14 7/8 x 29 15/16 in. (37.8 x 76 cm) 14 7/8 x 9 15/16 in. (37.8 x 25.2 cm) 14 7/8 x 10 1/16 in. (37.8 x 25.6 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Publisher: Yeijudo
    SIGNATURE Toyokuni-ga
    CREDIT LINE Brooklyn Museum Collection
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Triptych depicting stage and audience in a kabuki theater. The banner at the top of the left sheet identifies the theater as Kawarazaki-za, one of three theaters licensed for Kabuki performances in Edo (historic Tokyo). The trio of prints was designed so the central sheet, featuring the stage, could be changed out to show various productions. Other triptychs survive in museum collections that consist of the same outer sheets but a different center sheet. The stage production depicted in the Brooklyn central sheet was the theater's New Years production for 1793: Gozen Gakari Sumo Soga, featuring actor Hanshiro Iwai IV (Danjuro V) in the role of Ohatsu and Ichikawa Ebizo as Ohastu's enemy, Iwafuji. That production is noted for being the first to include a grand fight scene, known as Tachimawari, that would become a standard feature of large-scale Kabuki productions. Another artist, Katsukawa Shunei, produced print images of the individual actors in this production.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Utagawa Toyokuni I (Japanese, 1769–1825). Interior View of a Kabuki Theater, 1793. Woodblock color print, 14 7/8 x 29 15/16 in. (37.8 x 76 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum Collection, X1119.3a-c (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, X1119.3a-c.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, X1119.3a-c.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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