Artist: Utagawa Kunisada III (三代目歌川国貞)

Print: Kyōgen jōruri opening - Nakamura Fukusuke IV (中村福助), the woman on the far right - Onoe Ushinosuke II (尾上丑之助) is the skeleton next to her - Onoe Kikugorō V (尾上菊五郎) is the man on stilts - Onoe Eizaburō V (尾上栄三郎) is the woman in the pink dress on the left

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Dates: 1893,created
Dimensions: 30.25 in,15.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese color woodblock prints

Signed: ōju Kōchōrō hitsu
Publisher: Fukuda Kumajirō
Carver: Watanabe Tsunejirō

Related links: Harvard Art Museums; Edo Tokyo Museum; Japan Arts Council; Waseda University - right panel; Hagi Uragami Museum of Art; National Library of Australia; Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts - misattributed as being by Kunichika;

Physical description:

Triptych of actors in Western costume and stilts as puppets and skeletons. This is a kyōgen jōruri opening at the Ichimura Theater (Ichimura za kaijō jōruri kyōgen 市村座開場浄瑠璃狂言).


Illustrated in Ukiyo-e: The Art of the Japanese Print by Frederick Harris, #195, accompanied by a small color reproduction. Harris writes: "It is difficult to tell if these actors are imitating puppets as they have strings attached to them or if they are part of a humorous play that included skeletons." He also places the date as the 1880s and not as 1893 as others do.