Actor Arashi Kitsusaburô I (Rikan), formerly Arashi Kichisaburô II, in Three Roles: Takatsuna (right), Miuranosuke (center), Moritsuna (left)
1821 (Bunsei 4), 1st month
Artist Ryûsai Shigeharu (Japanese, 1803–1853)
Kitagawa, "Bosuton bijutsukan shozô Kamigata-e mokuroku" (Kansai daigaku, 2007), p. 89; Gerstle 2005, #195
Horizontal double ôban; 37.3 x 50.5 cm (14 11/16 x 19 7/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Woodblock print (surimono); ink and color on paper
Not On View
Play: Ômi Genji Senjin Yakata
A surimono celebrating the actor’s change of his official name, from Arashi Kichisaburô II to Arashi Kitsusaburô I; he continued to use his famous poetry name, Rikan, as a semi-official nickname. The inscription consists of four haikai poems and two additional lines reading “An auspicious change of heart (i.e. name change), in the second program of the theatrical season” (Aratameru kokoro medetashi, ni no kawari). The roles depicted, however, do not seem to have been played at this time and instead represent a major hit from the actor’s past, a combination of three roles in the same play that he had played several times previously, beginning in 1805.
For translations of the poems, see Gerstle 2005, p. 215.
Poem by Naniwa no Urabito, on the Takatsuna role: Tsutsu oto no/ narihibikikeri/ yuki no yama
Poem by Musashi no Shôkô, on the Moritsuna role: Chi jin yû/ yomo ni kaoru ya/ hana no ani
Poem by Rakuyô Kashu, on the Miuranosuke role: Gyôgi yoshi/ otoko-buri yoshi/ sakura-dai
Poem by Shitsuyûsai Dankô: Fuyu-gomori/ yoru wa shibai no/ hanashi nari
Baigansai Kunishige ga
By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911)
 Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.
William Sturgis Bigelow Collection