The Syllables Ri and Nu: Actors Morita Kan'ya XI as Farmer (Hyakushô) Shirotayû and Ichikawa Kodanji IV as Ishikawa Goemon, from the series An Instructive Alphabet of Proverbs (Kyôkun iroha tatoe)
「教訓いろはたとゑ」「り 百性白太夫」十一代目森田勘弥、「ぬ 石川五右エ門」四代目市川小団次
Vertical ôban; 37.5 x 25.3 cm (14 3/4 x 9 15/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper
Not On View
No. 05 in the series.
The complete series: 11.42589-11.42612.
Proverb for Ri: Richigi mono no ko dakusan
Proverb for Nu: Nusubito no hirune
Censors' seals: Fuku, Muramatsu
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