Liu Bang Kills the White Serpent (Ryûhô hakuja o kiru)


Edo period
1832 (Tenpô 3)
Artist Totoya Hokkei (Japanese, 1780–1850)

Catalogue Raisonné

Carpenter et al, Reading Surimono (2008), #125; Keyes, Art of Surimono (Chester Beatty cat., 1985), vol. 1, #142; Keyes, Surimono (Spencer Museum cat., 1984), cat. no. 81, pl. 19; Polster & Marks, Surimono (1980), p. 185


Shikishiban; 21.1 x 18.5 cm (8 5/16 x 7 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (surimono); ink and color on paper

Not On View


Asia, Prints and Drawings



Poem translated in Carpenter et al 2008, p. 248; Keyes 1985, p. 173; and Keyes 1984, p. 60.


Poem by Seiyôken Umeyo: Fusu tatsu no/ kumo akeharau/ harukaze ni/ miyako no sora no/ hatsuhi nodokeshi


Nansô tôka (drawn by lamplight in southern Kazusa Province [modern Chiba]) Hokkei 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