Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) / Toyokuni III (三代豊国)

Print: Shaving the Head with a Ladder (Gohō hashigo-zuri - ごほふはしごずり): Bandō Mitsugorō VI [六代目坂東三津五郎] as Daikoku (大こく) and Nakamura Fukusuke I [初代中村福助] as Fukurokuju (福禄寿) from the series Dance of the Ōtsu-e Figures (Ōtsu-e shosa no uchi - 大津絵所作ノ内)

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Dates: 1857,created
Dimensions: 9.375 in,13.75 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Toyokuni ga (豊国画)
Publisher: Hayashiya Shōgorō
(Marks 106 -seal listed, but closest to 11-002)
Censor's seal: aratame
Date seal: 10/1857

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Waseda University; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - 19th century Ōtsu-e painting of the same scene;

Physical description:

There are many ways to look at this print. One way it can be viewed as a visual joke with two famous actors in the roles of two of the Seven Propitious Gods. The humorous intent is unmistakable.

The other prints in this series have similar pairings of folk legends. These would have easily tickled the funny bones of Kunisada's contemporaries. For example, one shows a famous onnagata as the Wisteria Maiden watching another actor portrayed as a monkey clubbing a giant catfish. All composed of typical Ōtsue-e figures.