Private Performance of Women's Kabuki


Edo period
1789–1801 (Kansei era)
Artist Utagawa Toyokuni I (Japanese, 1769–1825), Publisher Nishimuraya Yohachi (Eijudô) (Japanese)

Catalogue Raisonné

Hizô Ukiyo-e taikan/Ukiyo-e Masterpieces in European Collections 11, Museo d'Arte Orientale, Genoa, II (1989), pl. 39; Ukiyo-e taikei 9 (1976), pls. 91-7 (complete pentaptych, with Dôjô-ji, plus extra sheets for Sanbasô and Kusazuribiki)


Vertical ôban triptych; 39.1 x 76.3 cm (15 3/8 x 30 1/16 in.)

Accession Number

11.13504, 11.13520, 11.16317

Medium or Technique

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

Not On View


Asia, Prints and Drawings



Triptych (three sheets of incomplete pentaptych): 11.13504 (left), 11.13520 (center), 11.16317 (right)

There are at least seven interchangeable sheets (11.13503, 11.13519, 11.13520, 11.13523, 11.13550, 11.13590, another illustrated in Ukiyo-e taikei 9) depicting different performances, any one of which can be the second sheet from left of a pentaptych.
The three left sheets of the pentaptych: 11.13504 (left), 11.13520 (center), 11.16317 (right); virtual record: 11.13504VR
The four right sheets of the pentaptych: 21.7481-4 (21.7481 = 11.13503)


Toyokuni ga



Censor's seal: kiwame



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)

[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