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Iwai Hanshiro IV

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Utagawa Toyokuni, Japanese, (1769–1825)
Iwai Hanshiro IV, 1795-1796
Ink on Paper
15 1/2 in. x 10 3/16 in. (393.7 mm x 258.76 mm)


Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Edo (Japan, 1615-1868)
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. James W. Johnson
Accession Number: 46.1.83


Alternate Title: Yakusha butai no sugata-e: Yamatoya

Commentary
Reproduction by Adachi.

Marks
On mat, in pencil: Jo XIII 102B, exhib. Den. Lib. 2/96-3/96. On verso, in pencil: Jo XIII 102B.

Medium
Colored ink on paper; woodblock print.

Object Description
Edo period Japanese color woodblock print with an image of an actor dressed as a female, standing.

Iwai Hanshiro IV (1744-1800) was one of the most famous and best-loved onnagata, noted for his graceful dancing. He invented many new roles portraying merchants’ wives and commoners as part of the new realism of late 18th century kabuki.

The placement of his hands in a clenched upward position draws attention to his neck, which in Japanese culture is considered the most sensual part of the female body. The white mica background further accentuates the feminine image of the actor.

Publisher
Kansendo (Izumi-ya Ichibei) seal.

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