Ayabu: Sudden Shower in the Sixth Month (Minazuki no yûdachi), from the series Scenes for the Twelve Correspondences According to the Ise Almanac, Middle Section (Reki chûdan tsukushi, Ise goyomi mitate jûni choku)

「暦中段尽し 危(あやぶ) 意勢古世身(いせこよみ) 見立十二直 水無月の夕立」

Edo period
1847–52 (Kôka 4–Kaei 5)
Artist Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III) (Japanese, 1786–1864), Publisher Ebisuya Shôshichi (Kinshôdô) (Japanese)


Vertical ôban; 36.9 x 25.2 cm (14 1/2 x 9 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

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

Not On View


Asia, Prints and Drawings



The Twelve Correspondences (jûni choku), an important feature of Edo-period astrology, were a chronological sequence of days that were considered lucky or unlucky for various activities, calculated according to the orientation of the Big DIpper with respect to the twelve signs of the zodiac (jûnishi). In this series Kunisada associates each of the twelve lucky or unlucky days noted in the almanac with one of the twelve months.

The Twelve Correspondences, with rough translations, are: Tatsu (Building), Nozoku (Eliminating), Mitsu (Full), Taira (Even), Sadan (Distinguishing), Toru (Carrying Out), Yaburu (Overcoming), Ayabu (Dangerous), Naru (Fulfillment), Osan (Gathering), Hiraku (Opening), Tozu (Closing).
 十二直 建(たつ) 除(のぞく) 満(みつ) 平(たいら) 定(さだん) 執、取(とる) 破(やぶる) 危(あやぶ) 成(なる) 納(おさん) 開(ひらく) 閉(とづ)


Kôchôrô Toyokuni ga


Censors' seals: Hama, Kinugasa
No blockcutter's mark


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