Matsumoto Yonesaburo as Kewaizaka no Shosho in the Play "Katakiuchi Noriyaibanashi"
Tōshūsai Sharaku (Japanese, active 1794–95)
Edo period (1615–1868)
Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper
15 1/8 x 9 7/8 in. (38.4 x 25.1 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1914
Not on view
This portrait features another actor impersonating a female character, in this case an oiran, or high-ranking courtesan, in the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters of Edo. But there is another layer to this act: the character portrayed, Kewaizaka no Shosho, is here pretending to be another character in the play, Shinobu. Kewaizaka affects the mannerisms of this haughty temptress with the lewd gesture of extruding her fingers from a fold of her kimono. The long thin pipe in her hand punctuates this gesture.
Signature: Toshusai Sharaku ga
[ William S. and JohnT. Spaulding , Boston, until 1914; sold to MMA]
Nagoya City Museum. "Ukiyo-e from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 14, 1995–May 28, 1995.