We Brigade, Fifth Group, Akabane: Actor Ichikawa Danzô VI as Shinchûnagon Tomomori, from the series Flowers of Edo and Views of Famous Places (Edo no hana meishô-e)

「江戸の花名勝会 ゑ 五番組」 「赤羽根」 「新中納言知盛 市川団蔵」(六代目)

Japanese
Edo period
1863 (Bunkyû 3), 2nd month
Artist Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III) (Japanese, 1786–1864), Other artist Hasegawa Settei (Japanese,1819–1882), Other artist Kakuju-jo (Japanese, active 1860s), Publisher Katôya Iwazô (Seibei) (Japanese), Blockcutter Koizumi Minokichi (Hori Mino) (Japanese, 1833–1906)


Dimensions

Vertical ôban; 35.5 x 24.3 cm (14 x 9 9/16 in.)

Accession Number

11.45132

Medium or Technique

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

Not On View

Collections

Asia, Prints and Drawings

Classifications

Prints

MFA impressions: 11.42484, 11.45132

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

Ôju nanajûhachi ô Toyokuni ga, in toshidama cartouche (bottom right); Meirindô Tsuruko ga (on hagoita, top); Shôsai ga (bottom left)

応需 七十八翁豊国画(年玉枠)、明林堂鶴子画、松斎画

Markings

Censor's seal: Boar 2 aratame
Blockcutter's mark: Hori Mino

改印:亥二改
彫師:彫巳の

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