from the series Introduction to Kyôgen Plays (Kyôgen hajime)
Artist Kawanabe Kyôsai (Japanese, 1831–1889)
13 x 18.2 cm (5 1/8 x 7 3/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper
Not On View
MFA impressions: 11.45797.7 (with poems), 11.45798.18 (without poems)
The MFA has two related sets of small-format prints, each with an accompanying wrapper. 11.45797.1 to .13 (12 prints, plus a wrapper with the title “Kyôgen zukushi”) includes three prints signed “Kyôsai ga”. Each print is inscribed with poems, suggesting that this first edition may be a privately commissioned surimono set. 11.45798.1 to .24 (23 prints, plus a wrapper with the title “Kyôgen hajime”) has the same 12 designs as the first series, but without the poems, as well as 11 additional designs. None are signed.
By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850–d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 19, 2005)
 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