The Taikô and His Five Wives on an Excursion to the East of Kyoto (Taikô gosai Rakutô yûkan no zu)


Edo period
about 1803–04 (Kyôwa 3–Bunka 1)
Artist Kitagawa Utamaro I (Japanese, early 1750s–1806)

Catalogue Raisonné

Machida City Mus., Dai musha-e ten (2003), #II-1; Asano and Clark 1995, #432; Ukiyo-e shûka 3 (1978), list #511.1-3, and fig. 26-28 (b/w); Shibui, Ukiyo-e zuten Utamaro (1964), 40.3.1-3; Yoshida, Utamaro zenshû (1941), #615; Ukiyo-e taisei 7 (1931), #338


Vertical ôban triptych; 37 x 76.4 cm (14 9/16 x 30 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

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

Not On View


Asia, Prints and Drawings



Triptych: 11.14509 (right), 11.14510 (center), 11.14511 (left)
MFA impressions: 11.14509-11, 21.7697-9
The triptych depicts a historical event of of 1598, the 15th day of the third month, when the ruler of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who used the title Taikô, held a cherry-blossom viewing party at Daigo-ji temple, just east of Kyoto. The names of individual figures inscribed on the print are, from right: Lady Kana (Kana dono), Lady Sanjô, Ishida Mitsunari, Lord Hideyoshi the Taikô (Taikô Hideyoshi kô), Lady Matsu-no-maru (Matsu-no-maru dono), Okoi no kata, Lady Yodo (Yodo dono), Kita no Mandokoro.
On the 16th day of the fifth month, 1804, Utamaro was punished for designing prints based on the book Ehon Taikôki (Illustrated Chronicles of the Taikô); this print may have been one of the problem pictures.


Utamaro hitsu (on each sheet)


No censor's seal


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