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Actors' New Year’s Party

Famous Places, Azuma Bridge in Tokyo

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Actors' New Year's Party

by Utagawa Kunimasa IV, 1886

Kami-no Megumi Wagō-no Torikumi

IHL Cat. #1726

About This Print

Twenty-six kabuki actors, listed below, at a New Year's party.  The actor Bandō Kichiroku I, "a low-ranking travelling actor"1 is costumed as a turtle (a symbol of longevity) in the center panel, paired with the actor Nakamura Tsuruzō II, supporting tachiyaku actor,2 in a dance. They are being watched with critical eyes by their more famous colleagues such as  Ichikawa Danjūrō IX in the plaid-patterned kimono in the center of the right sheet, Ichikawa Sadanji I sitting over the brazier to Danjūrō's right and Onōe Kikugorō V in the left sheet holding the red fan.  

Right Sheet (top row right to left, followed by bottom row right to left):
Bandō Kakitsu I [1]坂東家橘
Bandō Takematsu [0]坂東竹松
Ichikawa Danjūrō IX [9]市川団十郎 
Ichikawa Sadanji I [1]市川左団次 
Ichikawa Kodanji V [5]市川小団次 
Kataoka Ichizō III [3]片岡市蔵 
Sawamura Tosshi VI [6]沢村訥子 
Sawamura Gennosuke IV [4]沢村源之助 
Ichikawa Teruzō []市川照蔵 

Center Sheet (top row right to left, followed by bottom row right to left):
Nakamura Fukusuke III [3]中村福助 
Ichikawa Bujaku? []市川舛若 
Nakamura Fukusuke IV [4]中村福助 
Nakamura Dengorō III [3]中村伝五郎
Onoe Einosuke I [1]尾上栄之助
Nakamura Tsuruzō II [2]中村鶴蔵 
Seki Sanjūrō IV [4]関三十郎 
Bandō Kichiroku I [1]坂東喜知六 

Left Sheet (top row right to left, followed by bottom row right to left):
Ichikawa Kuzō III [3]市川九蔵 
Onōe Kikugorō V [5]尾上菊五郎 
Onōe Matsusuke IV [4]尾上松助 
Iwai Matsunosuke IV [4]岩井松之助 
Sawamura Tanosuke IV [4]沢村田之助 
Ichikawa Sumizō V (turtle) [5]市川寿美蔵 
Kataoka Gadō III [3]片岡我童 
Ichikawa Gonjūrō I [1]市川権十郎 
Nakamura Shikan IV [4]中村芝翫 

The Actors Pictured
For background on the actors pictured see their respective entries in the article The Kabuki Actor on this site.

1 Kabuki21 website https://www.kabuki21.com/minosuke.php

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1726
 Title (Description) Actors' New Year’s Party
 俳優新年筵会 Haiyū shinnen enkai 
 Artist Utagawa Kunimasa IV (1848-1920)
梅堂国政 筆 Baidō Kunimasa hitsu with Toshidama seal
 Seal Toshidama seal beneath signature as shown above
 Publication Date
 December 1886 明治19年12月 日(御届)
小森長吉 Komori Chōkichi
[Marks: not shown]
artist: 画工 [gakō] 竹内栄久 [Takenōchi Hidehisa, artist's birth name] followed by address

 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition fair - paper loss and wrinkling; overall toning; repairs using paper tape on verso, full size sheets; not backed
 Genre ukiyo-e; yakusha-e
 Format vertical oban triptych
 H x W Paper 
 13 3/4 x 9 1/4 in. (34.9 x 23.5 cm) each sheet
 Collections This Print
The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University 201-0645, 201-1197