Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Three Kabuki Actors Playing Hanetsuki

Utagawa Kuniyasu (Japanese, 1794–1834)
Edo period (1615–1868)
ca. 1823
Triptych of polychrome woodblock prints (surimono); ink and color on paper
Triptych, each: 7 1/4 x 8 3/8 in. (18.4 x 21.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Jack Greene Gift, 2001
Accession Number:
Not on view
Compared to his teacher, Utagawa Toyokuni, Kuniyasu portrayed actors with more angular, sharp-edged lines, particularly in the treatment of facial details.

This rare surimono triptych was produced in honor of the New Year. Three actors play the badminton-like game called hanetsuki, a traditional New Year's activity. Humorous poems by contemporary poets are inscribed throughout the three sheets.
Signature: Each sheet bears the artist's signature Ippōsai Kuniyasu ga ("painted by Ichiyūsai Kuniyasu").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection," July 2, 2005–November 29, 2005.

Related Objects

Young Woman Leaning over a Tall Lamp

Artist: Utagawa Kuniyasu (Japanese, 1794–1834) Medium: Monochrome woodblock print; ink on paper Accession: JP1833 On view in:Not on view

"Fireworks at Ikenohata" (Ikenohata hanabi)

Artist: Kobayashi Kiyochika (Japanese, 1847–1915) Date: 1881 (Meiji 14) Medium: Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper; horizontal aiban Accession: 2016.577 On view in:Gallery 964

Night Rain at the Double-Shelf Stand, from the series Eight Parlor Views (Zashiki hakkei)

Artist: Suzuki Harunobu (Japanese, 1725–1770) Date: ca. 1766 Medium: Polychrome woodblock print (first edition); ink and colors on paper, medium-sized print (chuban) Accession: JP698 On view in:Not on view

Six Tamagawa Rivers from Various Provinces (Shokoku Mu Tamagawa)

Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, Tokyo (Edo) 1797–1858 Tokyo (Edo)) Date: 1857 Medium: Six polychrome woodblock prints; ink and color on paper Accession: 2015.300.227a–f On view in:Not on view