The Great Battle of the Vegetables and the Fish (Aomono sakana gunzei ô-kassen no zu)
1859 (Ansei 6), 10th month
Artist Utagawa Hirokage (Japanese, active 1855–1865)
Ôta Mem. Mus., Edo yôkai dai zukan (2014), #83; Haubner, Die Macht des Bogens (2014), p. 205; Ôta Mem. Mus., Warau ukiyo-e (2013), #57; Konishi, Nishiki-e Bakumatsu Meiji no rekishi 1 (1977), pp. 76-7
Vertical ôban triptych; 36 x 74.9 cm (14 3/16 x 29 1/2 in.)
Medium or Technique
Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper
Not On View
MFA impressions: 11.22770a-c, 11.22771a-c
According to Konishi, the subject refers to the cholera epidemic of 1858. To avoid the disease, it was considered safer to eat vegetables rather than fish.
Hirokage ga (on each sheet)
Censor's seal: Goat 10 aratame
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: August 3, 1911)
 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.
William Sturgis Bigelow Collection