Actors Segawa Kikunojô V as Yuki-hime (R) and Ichikawa Ebizô V (Danjûrô VII) as Matsunaga Daizen (L)

五代目市川海老蔵の松永大膳  五代目瀬川菊之丞の雪姫

Edo period
1832 (Tenpô 3)
Artist Utagawa Sadakage I (Japanese, active about 1818–1844)

Catalogue Raisonné

McKee, Colored in the Year's New Light (Becker coll. exh. ca., 2008), #133 (R same, L diff.); Keyes, Surimono (Spencer Museum cat., 1984), cat. nos. 162-3, pl. 43 (L same, R diff.)


Shikishiban diptych; 21 x 36.1 cm (8 1/4 x 14 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (surimono); ink and color on paper

Not On View


Asia, Prints and Drawings



Diptych: 11.45626 (right), 11.45627 (left)

The actors did not actually appear together in these roles; Sadakage designed an imaginary theatrical scene for the Dragon Year, because of the golden dragon that hovers over the magical sword.

The two different editions found in the Becker Collection and the Spencer Museum have the same second poem on each sheet, but a different first poem. In our diptych, the right sheet corresponds to the Becker version and the left sheet to the Spencer version.

Second poem on each sheet, by Benbenkan, translated in McKee 2008, pp. 266-7, and in Keyes 1984, p. 108.
First poem on right sheet, by Benbunsai Tomotsura, translated in McKee 2008, p. 266.
First poem on left sheet, by Benjintei Edamichi, translated in Keyes 1984, p. 108.


Right sheet (as in Becker coll.):
Poem by Benbunsai Tomotsura: Matsu wo oru/ chikara wa miseru/ haru no niwa /nokoru ya yuki no/ onna-dameshii
Poem by Benbenkan: Suwasuwa to/ ugoku yukige no/ haru no kawa/ tsunogumu ashi ni/ fude kokoromitsu

Left sheet (as in Spencer Mus.):
Poem by Benjintei Edamichi: Sashinoboru/ kesa no hatsuhi no/ ariari to/ katachi o utsusu/ attysu no mojidako
Poem by Benbenkan: Shimekazari/ ochikuru take ni/ kurikara no/ tatsu no katachi o/ mitaru Ise ebi


Sadakage (on each sheet)


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