The actor Segawa Kikunojo III as Oshizu, wife of Tanabe Bunzo

Artwork Overview

  • Author: Tōshūsai Sharaku (東洲斎写楽) (active 1794-1795)
  • Publication Period: ca. 1794
  • Artwork Information: A color woodblock print from the ukiyo-e genre, part of the series “The Actor’s Present-day Likeness” (“Yakusha Genzōden”)
  • Historical Context: Created during the late Edo period, a time of cultural and artistic growth in Japan, when the ukiyo-e art form was flourishing

Artwork Appeal

  • Global Recognition: Tōshūsai Sharaku is one of the most enigmatic and internationally recognized ukiyo-e artists, known for his dramatic portraits of kabuki actors
  • Theme: “The Third Segawa Kikunojō as Tanabe Bunzō’s Wife Oshizu” portrays the famous kabuki actor Segawa Kikunojō III in the role of Oshizu, revealing Sharaku’s ability to capture the essence of theatrical performances
  • Features: The piece is characterized by its bold composition, expressive facial features, and the contrast between the actor’s delicate appearance and the strong, exaggerated lines, showcasing Sharaku’s distinctive and innovative style within the ukiyo-e genre