Actor Ichikawa Yaozô III, from an untitled series of actors representing the Seven Gods of Good Fortune (Shichifukujin)


Edo period
about 1779–80 (An'ei 8–9)
Artist Katsukawa Shunshô (Japanese, 1726–1792)

Catalogue Raisonné

Hizô Ukiyo-e taikan/Ukiyo-e Masterpieces in European Collections 11, Museo d'Arte Orientale, Genoa, II (1989), pl. 6


Hosoban; 32 x 13.5 cm (12 5/8 x 5 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

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

Not On View


Asia, Prints and Drawings



MFA impressions: 11.13452 (one sheet, = 21.7128), 21.7626-31 (set of six sheets)

Apparently an imaginary performance (mitate) showing actors who never actually appeared together; possibly made for New Year of 1780. The noren (shop curtains) above the actors’ heads give “house names” indicating which god each actor represents. The messenger of the god Bishamonten is the centipede (mukade). There should be one more actor in the set, representing the god Jurôjin.


Shunshô ga


By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911)

[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