Artist: Natori Shunsen (名取春仙)

Print: Soganoya Gorō and Choroku in Hizakurige from the series Portraits of Male Actors in Various Roles

Bookmark and Share
Dates: 1928,created
Dimensions: Overall dimensions

Signed: Picture by Shunsen (春仙絵)
Seal: Natori
Natori seal of approval in lower left

Related links: Honolulu Museum of Art; Freer/Sackler Galleries; National Gallery of Australia;

Physical description:

Soganoya Gorō (1877-1948) and Choroku (dates unkown).

Soganoya Gorō was a supporting actor in an Osaka-based travelling kabuki company. In 1903 he formed the Soganoya Brothers Troupe (Soganoya Ichiza) with his fellow kabuki actor Soganoya Jūrō. The company was dedicated to comedy and many of its productions poke fun at kabuki. The name of the company and its leading stars are also satirical, based on the popular twelfth-century figures Soga Gorō and Soga Jūrō who feature in many kabuki plays. The first Tokyo performances, held from 1905, were unsuccessful, mainly because the audience was unfamiliar with the humour and had difficulty understanding the actors' Osaka accents. The troupe later gained widespread popularity.

Choroku, known for his distinctive round face, was an actor in the troupe."

Quoted from: Stars of the Tokyo Stage, p. 116. There is a full-page, color illustration on p. 117.


There is another copy of this print in the collection of the Toledo Museum of Art.


Illustrated in a small black and white reproduction, #160, in Modern Japanese Prints by Dorothy Blair, Toledo Museum of Art. The accompanying text notes that this is from an edition of 150.