Onoe Matsusuke as Usui Sadamitsu

初代尾上松助の碓井貞光

1781

Katsukawa Shunzan 勝川 春山

(Japanese, active c. 1782–98)
Sheet: 31 x 14.5 cm (12 3/16 x 5 11/16 in.)
Location: not on view
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Description

This print is part of a triptych (a composition of three prints) that 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.
Onoe Matsusuke as Usui Sadamitsu

Onoe Matsusuke as Usui Sadamitsu

1781

Katsukawa Shunzan

(Japanese, active c. 1782–98)
Japan, Edo period (1615-1868)

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