Tigers and the Snake-eye Sushi Sign (Janome-zushi no tora) and Hares' Dumpling Shop (Usagi no dangoya), from the series Comical Twelve Signs of the Zodiac (Dôke jûnishi)

「道化十二支 蛇の目ずしの寅」 「道化十二支 卯のだんごや」

Edo period
about 1841 (Tenpô 12)
Artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Japanese, 1797–1861), Publisher Edoya Matsugorô (Japanese)

Catalogue Raisonné

Inagaki and Isao, Kuniyoshi no kyôga (1991), #15


Two vertical chûban designs on uncut horizontal ôban sheet; 24.3 x 35.5 cm (9 9/16 x 14 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

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

Not On View


Asia, Prints and Drawings



The tigers are frightened by the snake-eye trademark of the sushi shop because it resembles the family crest of the historical samurai Katô Kiyomasa (generally called “Masakiyo” or sometimes “Watônai” in prints) who was said to have killed a tiger (an animal not found in Japan) during the Japanese invasion of Korea in the 1590s. Hares are associated with the full moon, and the round dumplings are moon-shaped.


Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi ga (on each design)


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