Actors Nakamura Denkurô I as Asahina Saburô and Nakajima Kanzaemon I as Soga no Gorô, from an untitled series of Theater Pictures (Shibai-e)

芝居絵 初代中村傳九郎の朝比奈三郎、初代中島勘左衛門の曽我五郎

Edo period
about 1711 (Hôei 8/Shôtoku 1)
Artist Okumura Masanobu (Japanese, 1686–1764)

Catalogue Raisonné

Mutô, Shoki Ukiyo-e to Kabuki (2005), no. 1821; Clark, Morse, Virgin, and Hockley, Dawn of the Floating World (2000-1), p. 160 (no photo); Shibui, "Masanobu no sumi-e," Ukiyo-e no kenkyû VI.3 (March 1929), #D-12


Horizontal ôban; 27.2 x 36 cm (10 11/16 x 14 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (sumizuri-e); ink on paper

Not On View


Asia, Prints and Drawings



Ten sheets from the set of twelve: 11.13361 to 11.13369 and 21.5731, plus an additional half sheet, 21.7199. The plays that can be identified were performed between 1709 and 1710, and so the series may have been made for New Year of 1711.

Play: Senrei Homare Soga
Theater: Nakamura, 1710.1


Tôbu Yamato Eshi Okumura Masanobu zu


Artist's seal: Okumura Masanobu


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