The Syllables Mu and U: Actors Ichimura Uzaemon XII as Kan Shôjô and Bandô Takesaburô I as Oguri Sôtan, from the series An Instructive Alphabet of Proverbs (Kyôkun iroha tatoe)
「教訓いろはたとゑ」「む 菅丞相」十二代目市村羽左衛門、「う 小栗宗丹」初代坂東竹三郎
Vertical ôban; 37.2 x 25.2 cm (14 5/8 x 9 15/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper
Not On View
No. 12 in the series.
The complete series: 11.42589-11.42612.
Proverb for Mu: Muri ga tôreba dôri hikkomu
Proverb for U: Uso kara deta makoto
Censors' seals: Fuku, Muramatsu
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: January 19, 2005)
 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