Shamisen, No. 1 (Sono ichi) from the series The Three Musical Instruments (Sankyoku)

「三曲 其一」 三味線

Edo period
about 1820s
Artist Yashima Gakutei (Japanese, 1786?–1868)

Catalogue Raisonné

Carpenter et al, Reading Surimono (2008), #41; Rijksmuseum, The Ear Catches the Eye (2001), #1 (triptych); Hizô Ukiyo-e taikan 11, Museo d'Arte Orientale, Genoa, II (1989), pl. 115 (triptych); Rijksmuseum cat. III, Hokusai and His School (1982), #244


Shikishiban; 21.3 x 18.9 cm (8 3/8 x 7 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (surimono); ink, color, and metallic pigment on paper

Not On View


Asia, Prints and Drawings



Right sheet of incomplete triptych; 11.20488 is left sheet.

MFA impressions: 00.1932, 11.20483

Poems translated in Carpenter et a1 2008, p. 165.


Poem by Saieitei Mochimaru: Hosozao no/ tsurube ni kumeru/ wakamizu no/ mizu-jôshi ni mo/ awasu uguisu

Poem by Sekigentei Namio: Sangen no/ ito mo ichi Fuji/ ni agari ya/ takane ni utau/ haru no hikizome


Gakutei Sadaoka hitsu


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