Ukeji Brigade, Extra (Bangai), Akiba: Actor Onoe Eizaburô 4.5 (later Kawarazaki Kunitarô II) as the Geisha Oshun, from the series Flowers of Edo and Views of Famous Places (Edo no hana meishô-e)

「江戸之花名勝会 請地 番外」 「秋葉」 「芸者おしゆん 尾上栄三郎」(4.5代目尾上栄三郎、二代目河原崎国太郎)

Edo period
1863 (Bunkyû 3), 8th month
Artist Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III) (Japanese, 1786–1864), Other artist Kawanabe Kyôsai (Japanese, 1831–1889), Other artist Shôgetsu (Japanese, born about 1800), Publisher Katôya Iwazô (Seibei) (Japanese), Blockcutter Uemura Yasugorô (Hori Yasu) (Japanese)

Catalogue Raisonné

Kaikan sanjû shûnen kinen Kawanabe Kyôsai kinen bijutsukan cat. (2008), p. 102, #0771


Vertical ôban; 35.5 x 23.7 cm (14 x 9 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

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

Not On View


Asia, Prints and Drawings



MFA impressions: 11.42532, 11.44621, 11.45155, 11.45396.7 (creped)

The term “flowers of Edo” (Edo no hana) can refer, among other things, to fires. The title panel for each print in this series shows the lanterns and identifying standard (matoi) for one of the brigades of firefighters (hikeshi) assigned to various districts. On the west side of the Sumida River were 48 brigades named for the symbols of the kana syllabary and grouped into 8 numbered groups (1 to 10, minus the bad-luck numbers 4 and 7). On the east side of the river, brigades were numbered and assigned to directional groups. Outlying districts were covered by special brigades, here designated “extra” (bangai). Each title gives the name or number of a brigade, its group, and its district, followed by the kabuki scene chosen to match it.

The actor later known as Kawarazaki Kunitarô II used the name Onoe Eizaburô from 8/1863 to 2/1869 but is not considered a formal member of the lineage; he falls between the official Eizaburô IV and Eizaburô V.


Ôju Toyokuni ga, in toshidama cartouche (bottom right); Shôgetsu (top left); Chikudô sho (calligraphy, top right); Ôju Seisei Kyôsai (bottom left)
応需 豊国画(年玉枠)、松月、竹堂書、応需 惺々狂斎


Censor's seal: Boar 8 aratame
Blockcutter's mark: Uemura Hori Yasu


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)

[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