Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) / Toyokuni III (三代豊国) (artist 1786 – 01/12/1865)

The Five Chivalrous Commoners in Summer Kimono (Gonin otoko soroi no yukata - 五人男揃浴衣) - four of these panels shown here


9.75 in x 14.25 in (Overall dimensions) color woodblock

Signed: Konomi ni makasete [out of my own taste]
Toyokuni ga (任好豊国画)
Publisher: Izutsuya Shōkichi (Marks 188 - seal 24-055)
Censor seal: aratame-date combined for 5/1861
Carver: Horikō Shinchō
Japan Arts Council - full set
Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford - two of the prints
National Museum of Japanese History (via Ritsumeikan University) - the far left panel
National Museum of Japanese History (via Ritsumeikan University) - the second panel from the right

The Lyon Collection owns four sheets of this five-panel series of actors as otokodate by Toyokuni III.

Please note that the crest of each artist not only appears on their individual robes, but also in the decorations surrounding the title cartouche. For example, the print on the far right uses a tomo-e or triple comma motif.

1. The image on the far right is of Nakamura Shikan IV (四代目中村芝翫) as Kaminari Shōkurō (雷庄九郎). On his robe is an image of a fierce wolf, storm clouds and several lightning bolts.

2. Second from the right is Sawamura Tanosuke III (三代目沢村田之助) as Karigane Bunshichi (雁金文七). His robe shows geese in flight.

3. Second from left - Ichikawa Ichizō III (三代目市川市蔵) as Hotei Ichiemon (布袋市右衛門). His crest is made up of the seven sacred jewels. The largest element on his robe is a hat worn during a specific religious festival.

4. Far left - Kawarazaki Gonjūrō I (初代河原崎権十郎) as Gokuin Sen'emon (極印仙右衛門). This actor's mon of crossed mallets over a kanji character is repeated on his tenugui or hand-towel. The creature on his robe is a winged dragon over tumultuous waves.


Some of these prints are also found in the collection of Ritsumeikan University, in the Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna and in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


The otokodate frequently carried shakuhachi flutes both for playing and to as symbols of their authority because they often used them as weapons. (JSV)
actor prints (yakusha-e - 役者絵) (genre)
Izutsuya Shōkichi (井筒屋庄吉) (publisher)
Sawamura Tanosuke III (三代目沢村田之助) (actor)
Nakamura Shikan IV (四代目中村芝翫: 7/1860 to January 1899) (actor)
Kawarazaki Gonjūrō I (初代河原崎権十郎: 9/1852 to 2/1869) (actor)
Ichikawa Ichizō III (三代目市川市蔵) (actor)
Otokodate - chivalrous men (男伊達) (genre)
kari (wild geese - 雁) (genre)