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KATSUKAWA Shunsho, Japanese, (1726–1792)
Small Print (Ichikawa Danjuro with Rooster), c. 1786-1792
Ink on Paper
10 7/8 in. x 5 1/8 in. (27.62 cm x 13.02 cm)

Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. J. Stanley Johnson
Accession Number: 2000.1.2

Forms a triptych when joined with accession number 46.1.121

Matsumoto Koshiro IV, Nakamura Noshio II & Ichikawa Danjuro V
By Katsukawa Shunsho, c. 1786-1792
46.1.121 & 2000.1.2

In 1778 Danjuro V was accused of financial mismanagement and blamed Matsumoto Koshiro IV for the embarrassing revelations. This print parodies a cockfight that may allude to the tensions between these two kabuki superstars, with Koshiro IV on the left and Danjuro V at right. They hold offering trays with plum blossoms and stuffed roosters perhaps indicating this is a new year’s performance in 1789, the “year of the cock.” Between them is Nakamura Noshio II (1759-1800), who usually played female / onnagata roles, acting as a referee.

Signed Shunsho ga, with a jug seal.

Colored ink on paper; woodblock print; hosoban.

Object Description
Edo period color wooblock print of the actor Matsumoto Koshiro IV, which is one panel of a triptych.

This triptych is a parody of a cockfight, the middle figure being the referee and the two flanking actors holding offering trays decorated with stuffed birds. The plum blossoms signify a New Year’s celebration, probably for the forthcoming “year of the cock” 1777.

The center and right prints were given to Scripps in 1946 by Emmeline Johnson, who was an active print collector in the early 20th century. This left image was added to the collection by her daughter-in-law Mary Wig Johnson in 2000.

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