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Onoe Kikugoro III taking tea at Shinagawa, by Kunisada Utagawa

Image attached to P.491-1937

An image of Surimono. Onoe Kikugorô III taking tea at Shinagawa. Kunisada, Utagawa (Japanese, 1786-1865). Colour print from woodblocks, with metallic pigment and blind embossing (karazuri). Shikishiban. Signed: Gototei Kunisada ga. Poet: Ryûfûtei Hanagaki. 1825. Ukiyo-e. 
Notes: This is a ‘farewell’ surimono depicting the actor Onoe Kikugorô III before he departed on his pilgrimage to the Tenjin Shrine at Dazaifu on Kyûshû in 10/1825. He is seated on the second-floor balcony of a Shinagawa restaurant at the start of the Tôkaidô highway. He had just completed performing in the sensational first performance of the most famous of Kabuki ghost plays, Tôkaidô Yotsuya kaidan, which had been written for him by Tsuruya Nanboku IV. Kikugorô achieved great fame for using a series of astonishing costume-changing devices in order to perform three central roles. Kikugorô’s acting crest (mon) appears on the sleeves of his robe. The plum-blossom (gyôyô-giku) pattern was also a personal motif of Kikugorô, whose poetry name was Baikô (‘Plum luck’). Plum was also associated with the Tenjin Shrine. The bat-motif on the waitress’s kimono is a symbol of good luck. The turtle motif on the railing may be the mark of the kyôka poetry club that commissioned the print.

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Surimono. Onoe Kikugorô III taking tea at Shinagawa. Kunisada, Utagawa (Japanese, 1786-1865). Colour print from woodblocks, with metallic pigment and blind embossing (karazuri). Shikishiban. Signed: Gototei Kunisada ga. Poet: Ryûfûtei Hanagaki. 1825. Ukiyo-e. Notes: This is a ‘farewell’ surimono depicting the actor Onoe Kikugorô III before he departed on his pilgrimage to the Tenjin Shrine at Dazaifu on Kyûshû in 10/1825. He is seated on the second-floor balcony of a Shinagawa restaurant at the start of the Tôkaidô highway. He had just completed performing in the sensational first performance of the most famous of Kabuki ghost plays, Tôkaidô Yotsuya kaidan, which had been written for him by Tsuruya Nanboku IV. Kikugorô achieved great fame for using a series of astonishing costume-changing devices in order to perform three central roles. Kikugorô’s acting crest (mon) appears on the sleeves of his robe. The plum-blossom (gyôyô-giku) pattern was also a personal motif of Kikugorô, whose poetry name was Baikô (‘Plum luck’). Plum was also associated with the Tenjin Shrine. The bat-motif on the waitress’s kimono is a symbol of good luck. The turtle motif on the railing may be the mark of the kyôka poetry club that commissioned the print.

Image data

  • Accession Number: P.491-1937
  • Photograph copyright © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
  • Photographer name: Image Library
  • Image height: 1025 pixels
  • Image width: 915 pixels
  • Processed with: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.0 (Windows)
  • Filesize: 1.28MB

Key words

19th Century actor actors balcony blind embossing blossom blossom pattern colour printing costume embossed fashion fashionable female Fitz_PDP hair hairstyle Japanese kanzashi hairpin karazuri kimono Kunisada metal metallic obi pigment plum blossom print restaurant robes sash seated Shinagawa sitting surimono taking tea tea making tea-making theatre theatrical ukiyo-e Utagawa Kunisada waiter waitress woman women woodblock woodcut

Colours in this image

rgb(229,213,193), rgb(180,145,115), rgb(53,39,37), rgb(137,83,54), rgb(168,112,70), rgb(147,165,164), rgb(151,144,143), rgb(244,235,229), rgb(194,166,150), rgb(177,186,181), rgb(100,140,132)

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Onoe Kikugoro III taking tea at Shinagawa, by Kunisada Utagawa " Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/image/media-218598 Accessed: 2022-09-29 14:54:02

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{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/image/media-218598 |title=Onoe Kikugoro III taking tea at Shinagawa, by Kunisada Utagawa |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-09-29 14:54:02|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Onoe Kikugoro III taking tea at Shinagawa, by Kunisada Utagawa </figcaption>
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