The Syllables I and Ro: Actors Nakamura Utaemon IV as Sanbasô and Ichimura Uzaemon XIII as Hosokawa Katsumoto, from the series An Instructive Alphabet of Proverbs (Kyôkun iroha tatoe)
「教訓いろはたとゑ」「い 三番叟」四代目中村歌右衛門、「ろ 細川勝元」十三代目市村羽左衛門
Vertical ôban; 37 x 25.5 cm (14 9/16 x 10 1/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper
Not On View
No. 01 in the series.
The complete series: 11.42589-11.42612.
Proverb for I: Iwai wa sennen mannen
Proverb for Ro: Ron yori shôko
Censors' seals: Hama, Magome
No blockcutter's mark
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