The Actor Nakamura Utaemon in the Role of Kato Masakiyo


The Japanese art of Ukiyo-e (“Pictures of the floating [or sorrowful] world”) developed in the city of Edo (now Tokyo) during the Tokugawa or Edo Period (1600-1868), a relatively peaceful era during which the Tokugawa shoguns ruled Japan and made Edo the seat of power. The Ukiyo-e tradition of woodblock printing and painting continued into the 20th century. This print from between 1818 and 1830 shows the actor Nakamura Utaemon portrayed as a warrior in the role of Kato Kiyomasa (Masakiyo), a 16th-century general who led Japanese forces in the Seven Year War (1592-98) against Korea.

Last updated: September 18, 2015