Portrait of Bashô (Bashô-ô no zô), title page for the series Fashionable Versions of Ink in Five Colors (Fûryû goshiki-zumi)

「風流五色墨 芭蕉翁像」 外題目次

Edo period
about 1768 (Meiwa 5)
Artist Suzuki Harunobu (Japanese, 1725–1770)

Catalogue Raisonné

Waterhouse, The Harunobu Decade (2013), #320; Ukiyo-e shûka supp. 1 (1982), pl. 318; the series: Ukiyo-e shûka 4 (1979), list #324 (this design not listed)


Vertical chûban; 26.7 x 19.9 cm (10 1/2 x 7 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

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

Not On View


Asia, Prints and Drawings



The banana plants (bashô) are a visual pun on the name of the great haiku poet Matsuo Bashô. Ink in Five Colors (Goshiki-zumi) was the title of an anthology of haiku poetry published in 1731; Harunobu’s series uses modern scenes to illustrate five selected poems from the anthology. This is the only known impression of the title page.
MFA impressions of prints in the series: 21.8179 (title page), 21.4441 (Chôsui), 11.19452 (Sôzui), 21.4972 (Shiseki), 21.4440 and 11.22149 (Somaru)


Jihitsu Ankei (possibly referring to calligrapher)


Formerly in the Sumitomo collection; June 1913, purchased by William S. and John T. Spaulding from Yamanaka & Co.; December 1, 1921, given by William S. and John T. Spaulding to the Museum.

Credit Line

William S. and John T. Spaulding Collection