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Utagawa Toyokuni, Japanese, (1769–1825)
Nakamura Utaemon, c. 1810
Ink on paper
14 1/2 in. x 9 3/4 in. (36.83 cm x 24.77 cm)


Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Edo, Late (1789-1868)
Credit Line: Purchased with funds from the Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Cultures
Accession Number: 2010.1.41


Commentary
The kabuki actor Nakamura Utaemon III (1778-1838) stands on stage next to the enormous D?j?ji bell, holding the noh mask of a youthful woman. Nakamura Tomij?r? I (1719-1786) first performed “Musume D?j?ji” in 1753, and the dance sequence became a regular part of the Nakamura family repertoire. Utaemon III performed in Kyoto, Osaka and Edo (modern Tokyo) and was known for playing many roles in a single play, both male and female / onnagata. His face make-up and costume in this print indicates a masculine role, but the mask is of a beautiful maiden, which suggests that he will transform himself during the kabuki play.

Marks
Signed: Toyokuni

Object Description
Vertical color woodblock print of kabuki actor holding a fan and mask.

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