Utagawa Toyokuni I (Japanese, 1769-1825). <em>Interior View of a Kabuki Theater</em>, 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)

Interior View of a Kabuki Theater

Artist:Utagawa Toyokuni I

Medium: Woodblock color print

Geograhical Locations:

Dates:1793

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)

Collections:

Accession Number: X1119.3a-c

Image: X1119.3a-c.jpg,

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.

Brooklyn Museum