Actors Nakamura Shikan IV (R), Kawarazaki Gonjûrô I (C), and Ichikawa Kodanji IV (L) as Firefighters, from the series Flowers of Edo, Excitement at Night (Edo no hana yoru no nigiwai)

「江戸花夜の賑」 四代目中村芝翫 「成駒 中むら 芝」  初代河原崎権十郎 「権 かわら 佐木」  四代目市川小団次 「市川 高 米升」

Edo period
1860 (Ansei 7/Man'en 1), 9th month
Artist Ichieisai Yoshitsuya (Japanese, 1822–1866), Publisher Ebiya Rinnosuke (Kaijudô) (Japanese), Blockcutter Matsushima Masakichi (Hori Masa) (Japanese)

Catalogue Raisonné

Waseda db 201-1642 (R), 012-0315 (C), 012-0316 (L); NDL db


Vertical ôban, right sheet of triptych; 35.2 × 24.8 cm (13 7/8 × 9 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

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

Not On View


Asia, Prints and Drawings



Triptych: 11.37790 (R), 11.37791 (C), 11.37792 (L) (no VR)
Inscriptions on the lanterns in the background give clues to the identity of each actor.

MFA impressions: 11.22715 (R only), 11.37790-2 (complete triptych, with variant version of R), 11.37796 (C only)
Additional prints in the series, which can be assembled as an optional polyptych: 11.37793, 11.37794, 11.37795, 11.37797, 11.37798
At least two more designs in the series are in the collection of the National Diet Library.


Ichieisai Yoshitsuya ga (on each sheet)


Censor's seal: Monkey 9 aratame
Blockcutter's mark: Matsushima Hori Masa


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)

[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