I Brigade, First Group, Nihonbashi: Actor Ichikawa Kodanji IV as Fish-seller (Uouri) Isshin Tashichi, from the series Flowers of Edo and Views of Famous Places (Edo no hana meishô-e)

「江戸の花名勝会 い 一番組」 「日本橋」 「魚売一心太七 市川小団次」(四代目)

Japanese
Edo period
1862 (Bunkyû 2), 12th month
Artist Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III) (Japanese, 1786–1864), Other artist Utagawa Hiroshige II (Shigenobu) (Japanese, 1826–1869), Other artist Utagawa Kunisada II (Kunimasa III, Toyokuni IV) (Japanese, 1823–1880), Publisher Katôya Iwazô (Seibei) (Japanese), Blockcutter Matsushima Masakichi (Hori Masa) (Japanese)


Dimensions

Vertical ôban; 35.5 x 24.2 cm (14 x 9 1/2 in.)

Accession Number

11.45164

Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper

Not On View

Collections

Asia, Prints and Drawings

Classifications

Prints

MFA impressions: 11.42483, 11.45133, 11.45164

The term “flowers of Edo” (Edo no hana) can refer, among other things, to fires. The title panel for each print in this series shows the lanterns and identifying standard (matoi) for one of the brigades of firefighters (hikeshi) assigned to various districts. On the west side of the Sumida River were 48 brigades named for the symbols of the kana syllabary and grouped into 8 numbered groups (1 to 10, minus the bad-luck numbers 4 and 7). On the east side of the river, brigades were numbered and assigned to directional groups. Outlying districts were covered by special brigades, here designated “extra” (bangai). Each title gives the name or number of a brigade, its group, and its district, followed by the kabuki scene chosen to match it.

Signed

Toyokuni ga, in toshidama cartouche (bottom right); HIroshige ga (bottom left); Kunisada ga (top)

応需 豊国画(年玉枠)、国貞画、広重画

Markings

Censor's seal: Dog 12 aratame
Blockcutter's mark: Matsushima Hori Masa

改印:戌十二改
彫師:松島彫政

Provenance

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)

NOTES:
[1] 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.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection