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Ichikawa Ichizō as Hotei Ichiemon

Utagawa Kunisada (Japanese, 1786-1864)


市川市蔵 as Hotei Ichiemon 布袋市右衛門 from Set of Five Great Men (Gonin otoko soroi no yukata) 五人男揃浴衣

These men lived in a world of their own, with rigid rules and ideas of honor and obligation. Generally called yakuza (often translated as "gamblers" but more akin to gangsters), they preferred the more poetic toseinin ("wanderers, simply passing through this life") in referring to themselves. Some provided protection for commoners against corrupt or inept officials, but others were simply predators.

Object Information

artist
Utagawa Kunisada (Japanese, 1786-1864)
creation date
1861
materials
color woodblock print
accession number
72.47.20
credit line
Gift of Mrs. Kate Kiser Klein
copyright
Public Domain
collection
Asian Art
colors