Round Five, Left Side (Goban, hidari): Removing Oil from the Hair (Abura tori), from the series Contest of Fowls (Toriawase)

「鶏合 五番左 油とり」

Edo period
1825 (Bunsei 8)
Artist Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III) (Japanese, 1786–1864)

Catalogue Raisonné

Other prints in the series: Chiba Museum, Edo no surimono (1997), #s 184-5, with description of the series on p. 181; this design is not mentioned


Shikishiban; 21.6 x 18.7 cm (8 1/2 x 7 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (surimono); ink and color on paper

Not On View


Asia, Prints and Drawings



The series apparently consisted of a total of 15 sheets by three different artists. Twelve sheets by Kunisada and Shinsai used the format of a poetry contest between Left and Right sides, in six rounds, with subtitles based on the names of varieties of chickens. There was also a triptych by Hokkei showing a cockfight.
MFA prints from the series: 00.1916 (by Hokkei), 11.19892 (by Kunisada), and 21.9261 (by Shinsai?)


「鵲巣庵 ゆいたてゝ髪にいたゝく白かねのかさしもゆかし玉の初春」「楽聖庵 すく髪のふけよりしろしまくり鏡月に柳の花のまふみゆ」


Ôju Kunisada 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