Actor Ichikawa Yaozô III, from an untitled series of actors representing the Seven Gods of Good Fortune (Shichifukujin)
about 1779–80 (An'ei 8–9)
Artist Katsukawa Shunshô (Japanese, 1726–1792)
Hizô Ukiyo-e taikan/Ukiyo-e Masterpieces in European Collections 11, Museo d'Arte Orientale, Genoa, II (1989), pl. 6
Hosoban; 32 x 13.5 cm (12 5/8 x 5 5/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper
Not On View
MFA impressions: 11.13452 (one sheet, = 21.7128), 21.7626-31 (set of six sheets)
Apparently an imaginary performance (mitate) showing actors who never actually appeared together; possibly made for New Year of 1780. The noren (shop curtains) above the actors’ heads give “house names” indicating which god each actor represents. The messenger of the god Bishamonten is the centipede (mukade). There should be one more actor in the set, representing the god Jurôjin.
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