Wa Brigade, Eighth Group, Shinobazu: Actor Iwai Kumesaburô III as Ikita Benten, from the series Flowers of Edo and Views of Famous Places (Edo no hana meishô-e)
「江戸の花名勝会 わ 八番組」 「不忍」 「いきた弁天 岩井粂三郎」（三代目）
1863 (Bunkyû 3), 8th month
Kaikan sanjû shûnen kinen Kawanabe Kyôsai kinen bijutsukan cat. (2008), p. 101, #0765
Vertical ôban; 36.5 x 24.8 cm (14 3/8 x 9 3/4 in.)
Medium or Technique
Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper
Not On View
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.
Ôju Toyokuni ga, in toshidama cartouche (bottom center); Ôju Seisei Kyôsai (top); Ganshôsai (bottom left)
応需 豊国画(年玉枠)、応需 惺々狂斎、巌松斎
Censor's seal: Boar 8 aratame
Blockcutter's mark: Uemura Hori Yasu
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