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Yakusha-e

Yakusha-e (役者絵), or "actor prints", are Japanese woodblock prints of kabuki actors, popular through the Edo period (1603–1867) and into the beginnings of the 20th century.
Prints, especially earlier ones, depict actors generically, and plainly, showing in a sense their true natures as actors merely playing roles. Other prints, meanwhile, take something of the opposite: they show kabuki actors and scenes elaborately, intentionally blurring the distinction between a play and the actual events it seeks to evoke.
Kudanme
491 Media in collectionpage 1 of 5

Iwai sagenta [to] katsuyama matagorō

Print shows actors Iwai Sagenta and Katsuyama Matagorō, one reclining on a veranda, the other about to climb steps to the veranda.

Takenuki gorō

Print shows a man, possibly Tokimune Soga (Gorō), uprooting bamboo.

[A beauty with an umbrella]

Print shows the actor Nakamura Sanya as a young woman standing beneath an umbrella, wearing a head covering and geta.

[A popular hero, Shibaraku]

Print shows an actor as a samurai making a grand entrance at the "Shibaraku" moment on the kabuki stage.

Sannin no yakusha

Print shows three actors, two playing shamisens and one with a teapot or sake pot, two are in the roles of women.

Ichikawa danjūrō [to] ichikawa monnosuke

Print shows the actor Ichikawa Monnosuke as a courtesan and Ichikawa Danjūrō as a merchant.

[The black knight]

Print shows a man, possibly an actor or a samurai, with sword, holding an umbrella, wearing a black kimono and geta.

Sawamura kodenji to otoko

Print shows two actors, one holding a fan, the other, in the role of a woman, is holding a drum.

Ichikawa ebizō no kinzaemon yorikata

Print shows the actor Ichikawa Ebizō as Kinzaemon Yorikata fighting a tiger.

Onoe kikugorō [to] nakamura kiyosaburō

Print shows actors Onoe Kikugorō and Nakamura Kiyosaburō, wearing geta, portraying street musicians.

Sawamura Sōjūrō no Soga no Jūrō to Ichikawa Yaozō no Soga no Gorō

Print shows two actors (possibly Sawamura Sōjūrō, 1685-1756, and Ichikawa Yaozō) in the roles of two brothers who attempt to revenge their father's murder.

Ichimura kamezō nakamura kiyoza[sa?]

Print shows the actors Ichimura Kamezō and Nakamura Kiyoza, one portraying a female role.

Onoe kikugorō no sanjō kokaji munechika

Print shows Onoe Kikugorō, an actor, full-length portrait, standing, facing left.

Bandō hikosaburō

Print shows Bandō Hikosaburō, an actor, full-length portrait, standing, facing left.

Nakamura matsue

Print shows the actor Nakmura Matsue in a female role.

Ichikawa danzō no shinozuka gorō [to] sakata hangorō no omo

Print shows two actors struggling over an anchor.

Ichimura kamezo no kyo no jirō

Print shows the actor Ichimura Kamezo performing a fan dance.

Ichimura uzaemon no osugi

Print shows a young woman, Osugi, holding a tobacco pipe and tray of tobacco.

Ichikawa komazō no sano no genzaemon segawa kikunojō no keisei tamagiku

Print shows the actor Ichikawa Komazō as Sanno no Genzaemon holding an umbrella and walking with the courtesan Tamagiku, portrayed by the actor Segawa Kikunojō.

Yamashita kinsaku no yoshitomo no shōjin tokiwagozen

Print shows Yamashita Kinsaku II, full-length, standing, facing left, holding a long, narrow wall hanging, in the role of Tokiwa Gozen.

Segawa yūjirō to onoe tamizō

Print shows the actors Segawa Yūjirō and Onoe Tamizō, one in the role of a woman, the other a man kneeling in front of a hibachi.

Segawa kikunojō [to] ichikawa yaozō

Print shows the actors Segawa Kikunojo and Ichikawa Yaozo, one portraying a female role.

Iwai hanshirō no shirabyōshi

Print shows Iwai Hanshirō, an actor, full-length portrait, standing, facing right, in the role of a shirabyōshi dancer (as a woman dressed as a man).

Arashi hinaji no jōrurigozen

Print shows actor Arashi Hinaji in an onnagata role as the princess Jōruri Gozen, standing on a veranda, holding a lantern.

Ichimura uzaemon no kidōmaru

Print shows Ichimura Uzaemon as the bandit Kidōmaru riding a hobby horse.

Sugawara no michizane

Print shows Sugawara no Michizane, an actor, sitting on a platform beneath pine and plum trees.

Yamasita kyōnosuke

Print shows Yamashita Kyōnosuke, an actor, full-length portrait, standing, facing left, looking at a poster mounted on a building showing a deer.

Segawa kikunojō

Print shows an actor portraying a woman holding an umbrella.

Sanogawa ichimatsu

Print shows the actor Sanogawa Ichimatsu, half-length portrait, portraying a female, facing left in fan-shaped frame.

Nakajima mihoemon

Print shows the actor Nakajima Mihoemon, half-length portrait framed by a fan, in the role of a rogue samurai.

Nidaime ichikawa monnosuke

Print shows the actor Ichikawa Monnosuke II, full-length portrait, facing left, standing on snow-covered veranda.

Nidaime ichikawa monnosuke

Print shows the actor Ichikawa Monnosuke II, full-length portrait, standing, facing left, with painting of a deer in the background.

Tomizawa hanzaburō

Print shows the actor Tomizawa Hanzaburō, half-length portrait framed by a fan, in the role of a female servant.

Nakajima kanzaemon

Print shows the actor Nakajima Kanzaewmon, half-length portrait, facing right in fan-shaped frame.

Onoe matsusuke

Print shows the actor Onoe Matsusuke, half-length portrait framed by a fan, facing right.

Ichikawa danzō

Print shows the actor Ichikawa Danzō, half-length portrait, facing right in fan-shaped frame.

Nakamura kanzaburō

Print shows the actor Nakamura Kanzaburō, full-length portrait, facing right, holding fan.

Onoe matsusuke

Print shows the actor Onoe Matsusuke standing with his right hand inside a closed parasol.

Nakamura tomijurō

Print shows the actor Nakamura Tomijurō portraying a woman performing a Noh dance.

Onoe tamizō

Print shows the actor Onoe Tamizō, full-length portrait, standing, facing right in an onnagata role.

Kudanme

Print shows Tonase holding a sword, standing behind her step-daughter Konami on a veranda as Honzō walks by, disguised as a traveling monk, wearing a beehive-shaped basket over his head and playing a recorder.

Ichimuraza no mae no iroko

Print shows two young men dreaming about acting at the theater.

Nakamura nakazō

Print shows Nakamura Nakazo, an actor, full-length portrait, standing, facing left, holding sword in right hand.

Yodaime iwai hanshirō

Print shows the actor Iwai Hanshirō, full-length portrait, standing, portraying a female role.

Nakamura kumesaburō

Print shows the actor Nakamura Kumesaburō, full-length portrait, standing, facing right, in the role of a woman walking near a stream.

Yodaime ichikawa danzō

Print shows Ichikawa Danzō I, a kabuki actor, full-length portrait, standing, facing slightly left, holding a sword over right shoulder, possibly in the role of a samurai or as Shoki the demon queller.

Sandaime segawa kikunojō

Print shows the actor Segawa Kikunojō III, full-length portrait, standing, facing right, in the role of a woman.

Godaime ichikawa danjūrō

Print shows the actor Ichikawa Danjūrō V, full-length portrait, standing, facing left, with large hat and carrying a paper lantern.

Iwai hanshirō

Print shows Iwai Hanshirō, full-length portrait, standing beneath umbrella, facing left.

Nidaime ichikawa monnosuke

Print shows the actor Ichikawa Monnosuke II, full-length portrait, facing right, holding a piece of cloth around his neck.

Onoe matsusuke no bikuni

Print shows Onoe Matsusuke, an actor, full-length portrait, standing, facing left, wearing a large hat.

Segawa Kikunojō

Print shows the actor Segawa Kikunojō III, full-length portrait, standing, facing right, in the role of a geisha.

Sandaime sawamura sōjurō

Print shows the actor Sawamura Sōjurō III, full-length portrait, standing, facing right.

Nidaime yamashita kinsaku

Print shows the actor Yamashita Kinsaku II, full-length portrait, standing, facing right, in an onnagata role.

Komekitte o motsu nakamura nakazō

Print shows the actor Nakamura Nakazō, full-length, standing on the shore, facing slightly left, holding a rice coupon.

Ichikawa danjuro no kudo suketsune

Print shows the actor Ichikawa Danjuro's reflection in a mirror, in the role of Kuro Suketsune.

Onoe matsusuke no raikō sitennō

Print shows Onoe Matsusuke, an actor, full-length portrait, standing, facing left.

Nidaime bandō mitsugorō no anno heibei

Print shows Bandō Mitsugorō, an actor, full-length portrait, standing, facing right.

Shodan

Print shows a confrontation between a court official and a lesser official with his wife standing nearby, following an offense by the court official; this sets the stage, in later acts, for the lesser official'... more

Senjō no sarumawashi

Print shows two women or actors on a boat in a river.

Fūryū onna shikisanba

Print shows three women (or the male actors portraying women) in the role of the three old men who typically perform the Okin Shikisanba, a sacred ceremonial no dance.

Seki no matsugae

Print shows seven people, male and female, musicians and actors or dancers.

Saruwaka

Print shows two Saruwaka actors.

Kataoka nizaemon

Print shows actor Kataoka Nizaemon, full-length portrait, facing left, wearing ceremonial costume.

Segawa tomisaburō [as yadorigi, wife of ogishi kurando]

Print shows Segawa Tomisaburō, an actor, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing right, in the role of Yadorigi, the wife of Ogishi Kurando.

Tachibanaya ōmiya

Print shows two actors, full-length portrait, one as a warrior sitting, the other as a woman standing behind the warrior.

Ichikawa ebizō no takemura sadanoshin

Print shows actor Ichikawa Ebizō, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing left, in the role of Takemura Sandanoshin.

Bandō Hikosaburō

Print shows the actor Bandō, Hikosaburō, full-length portrait, standing, wearing a cape, and holding with his right hand raised, a bamboo rod with a paper attached to the end.

Sawamura sōjūrō [to] segawa kikunojō

Print shows actors Sawamura Sōjūrō and Segawa Kikunogō, one in the role of a woman.

Sandaime ichikawa yaozō

Print shows the actor Ichikawa Yaozō III, bust portrait, facing left.