Onmayagashi in Edo

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Japanese, 1797–1861)
Edo period (1615–1868)
Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper
H. 10 1/8 in. (25.7 cm); W. 14 9/16 in. (37 cm)
Credit Line:
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Accession Number:
Not on view
This print is a magnificent depiction of heavy rain. Three men huddled beneath an umbrella are about to pass another who, oblivious to the torrential rain, munches on the eels he carries for sale. Behind him is a comic counterpart to the trio—a single figure burdened with three umbrellas in addition to the one that obscures him from sight. Pouring rain falls straight down and splashes up from the muddy ground.

The artist was a contemporary of Kunisada; they were the two principal students of Toyokuni, the most influential artist of the Utagawa school. Genre prints with humorous insights into everyday life were his forte.
Signature: Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga
Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer , New York (until d. 1929; bequeathed to MMA).
New York. Japan Society Gallery. "Rain and Snow: The Umbrella in Japanese Art," April 28, 1993–June 26, 1993.

Nagoya City Museum. "Ukiyo-e from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 14, 1995–May 28, 1995.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Autumn and Winter," June 22, 2006–September 10, 2006.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Summer and Autumn in Japanese Art," June 24, 2011–October 23, 2011.