Ōtsu-e of Kabuki Actor Playing Hotei Ichiemon


Not on view

This Ōtsu-e has an interesting history. On the reverse of the scroll is brushed what one person determined the subject of the work to be—Hotei Ichiemon, one of a gang of five thieves and marauders known as the Gold Hunting Five (Karigane Gonin Otoko), who occupied Osaka for a time before being apprehended and then executed in 1702. The same person also wrote that the porcelain roller ends were produced by the famed potter Hamada Shōji and the mounting made by Yanagi Sōsetsu, the godfather of the Mingei movement, and author of a text on Ōtsu-e. Puppet shows and Kabuki plays based on the Gold Hunting Five were very popular and frequently represented in actor prints, the likely inspiration for this image.

Ōtsu-e of Kabuki Actor Playing Hotei Ichiemon, Hanging scroll; hand-colored woodblock print on paper, Japan

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