Jul 29, 2014

Ichikawa Monnosuke II as Urabe Suetake, Onoe Matsusuke I as Usui Sadamitsu, and Nakamura Nakazo I as Watanabe no Tsuna in “The Four Heavenly Kings Costumed as the Night Watch”

Ichikawa Monnosuke II as Urabe Suetake, Onoe Matsusuke I as Usui Sadamitsu, and Nakamura Nakazo I as Watanabe no Tsuna in “The Four Heavenly Kings Costumed as the Night Watch”

四天王宿直着綿 二代目市川門之助の卜部季末武、初代尾上松助の碓井貞光、初代中村仲蔵の渡辺綱

1781

Part of a set. See all set records

Katsukawa Shunzan 勝川 春山

(Japanese, active c. 1782–98)

Triptych of color woodblock prints

Overall: 31 x 14.5 cm (12 3/16 x 5 11/16 in.)

Gift from J. H. Wade 1921.314

Location

Description

This triptych (a composition of three prints) shows actors portraying three of the four famed protectors of imperial regent Minamoto Yorimitsu (948?–1021). Collectively, they are known as his Shitennō (四天王), or “Four Heavenly Kings,” after the Buddhist deities who guard the four cardinal directions. The characters are indicated by the large house crests on their robes. The actor Onoe Matsusuke I’s identity is revealed by a fan with the ideograph matsu (松), or “pine,” tucked into his robe, just against his breastplate.

See also
Collection: 
Japanese Art
Department: 
Japanese Art
Type of artwork: 
Print
Credit line: 
Gift from J. H. Wade

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