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Use of Reproductions and Digital Contents

Kabuki Theater


Title Kabuki Theater
Quantity A pair of six-fold screens
Date 2019
Size 170.0x397.6each
Production "Tsuzuri Project" (Official Title: Cultural Heritage Inheritance Project)

Original Work

Designation Important Cultural Property
Artist/Excavation Site By Hishikawa Moronobu (died 1694)
Collection Tokyo National Museum
Medium Color on gold-leafed paper
Date Edo period, 17th century
Collection Ref. No. A-11084(複A-11084-1)


This work comes from a set of two 6-panelled folding screens. Painted by Hishikawa Moronobu, an ukiyo-e artist during the early Edo period, it depicts a theater used for performances of kabuki, one of Japan's traditional performing arts, though only the left-hand screen is displayed here. The right of the screen depicts the theater dressing room. It shows familiar backstage scenes of face washing, hair styling, costume donning, and tea making, for instance. In a teahouse adjoining the dressing room on the left, people dance to a musical accompaniment. Some people watch while drinking alcohol, while others gaze at the cherry blossoms. This seems to be a special salon for actors to receive guests. The setting is somewhat different to the regular stage for general customers. This vibrant work depicts each individual in vivid fashion. At 170 centimeters high, the screen is around 20 centimeters larger than usual. This also suggests it was made by special commission.