The Syllables Mu and U: Actors Ichimura Uzaemon XII as Kan Shôjô and Bandô Takesaburô I as Oguri Sôtan, from the series An Instructive Alphabet of Proverbs (Kyôkun iroha tatoe)

「教訓いろはたとゑ」「む 菅丞相」十二代目市村羽左衛門、「う 小栗宗丹」初代坂東竹三郎

Japanese
Edo period
about 1851 (Kaei 4)
Artist Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III) (Japanese, 1786–1864), Publisher Ibaya Senzaburô (Dansendô) (Japanese)


Dimensions

Vertical ôban; 37.2 x 25.2 cm (14 5/8 x 9 15/16 in.)

Accession Number

11.42600

Medium or Technique

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

Not On View

Collections

Asia, Prints and Drawings

Classifications

Prints

No. 12 in the series.

The complete series: 11.42589-11.42612.

Inscription

Proverb for Mu: Muri ga tôreba dôri hikkomu
Proverb for U: Uso kara deta makoto

「無利が通れば道理ひつこむ」「うそから出たまこと」

Signed

Toyokuni ga

豊国画

Markings

Censors' seals: Fuku, Muramatsu
No blockcutter's mark

改印:福、村松
彫師:なし

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