So Brigade, Ninth Group, Komagome: Actor Onoe Kikugorô III as Koshô Kichizaburô, from the series Flowers of Edo and Views of Famous Places (Edo no hana meishô-e)

「江戸の華名勝会 そ 九番組」 「駒込」 「小性吉三郎 尾上菊五郎」(三代目)

Japanese
Edo period
1863 (Bunkyû 3), 11th month
Artist Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III) (Japanese, 1786–1864), Other artist Utagawa Kunisada II (Kunimasa III, Toyokuni IV) (Japanese, 1823–1880), Other artist Utagawa Yoshitora (Japanese, active about 1836–1887), Publisher Katôya Iwazô (Seibei) (Japanese), Blockcutter Katada Chôjirô (Hori Chô) (Japanese)


Dimensions

Vertical ôban; 36.2 x 24.7 cm (14 1/4 x 9 3/4 in.)

Accession Number

11.42498

Medium or Technique

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

Not On View

Collections

Asia, Prints and Drawings

Classifications

Prints

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 left); Kunisada ga (bottom right); Yoshitora ga (top)

豊国画(年玉枠)、芳虎画、国貞画

Markings

Censor's seal: Boar 11 aratame
Blockcutter's mark: Katada Hori Chô

改印:亥十一改
彫師:片田彫長

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