Index from the series One Hundred Roles of Baikō

Japanese Color Woodblock Print


from the series One Hundred Roles of Baikō

by Toyohara Kunichika, 1893

Ichikawa Danjūrō IX as Mongaku Shonin from the series One Hundred Roles of Ichikawa Danjuro

IHL Cat. #2156

About This Print

The index sheet for the entire series of 100 prints. While this print is usually attributed to Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900), the designer of all the prints in the series, it was actually designed by the artist Sekine Takejirō 関根竹二郎, active 1887-1896, whose signature and seal are found in the bottom left margin. While he used the character 書 (sho) to indicate he was the writer/calligrapher for the titles displayed on the print, it is most likely he also designed the background. 

The Series "One Hundred Roles of Baikō"
Source: Time Present and Time Past: Images of a Forgotten Master: Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900), Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing, 1999, p. 26, 27.

In 1893 Kunichika undertook a commission for two series of single-sheet portraits, each dedicated to the two most famous actors of their time, Ichikawa Danjūrō IX (1838-1903) and Onoe Kikugorō V (1844-1903).  The first of these, One hundred roles of Danjūrō, featured the major roles of Ichikawa Danjūrō IX in a set of half-length portraits.  (See print IHL Cat. #s 663, 689 and 701.) The second, One hundred roles of Baikō, featured the major roles of Onoe Kikugorō V and included an insert on the top of the print depicting a supporting actor.  Both the series were commissioned by Fukuda Kumajirō and Gusokuya Kahei. These two series are regarded as ‘monuments to his [Kunichika’s] career’.

The name "Baikō" in the series title was the haiku pen name of Onoe Kikugorō V who Kunichika was on friendly terms with, often drinking tea and chatting backstage. 

Print Details

IHL Catalog #2156
 Title (Description) Index Sheet
 梅幸百種目録  Baikō hyakushu mokuroku
 Series One Hundred Roles of Baikō
 梅幸百種之内 Baikō hyakushu no uchi
 Artist Sekine Takejirō 関根竹二郎 (active 1887-1896)
 梅素薫 書 Baiso Kaoru sho (artist name of Sekine Takejirō, active c. 1887-1896, followed by the character 書 indicated he was the writer/calligrapher for the index. For more information on this artist see the Japan Wikipedia entry for 梅素薫) 
 Seal seal is seen read as 果索 or 某素 (ARC database transcription)
 Publication Date
 1893 明治廿六 (note: print does not carry a date)
 Publisher Fukuda Kumajirō 福田熊次郎 [Marks: pub. ref. 071]
 no publisher mark on print
no seal on print
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - soiling throughout; full-size; not backed
 Genre ukiyo-e
 Miscellaneous unread inscription in bottom left margin above artist's signature and seal
 Format vertical ōban
 H x W Paper 
 14 5/8 x 10 7/16 in. (37.1 x 26.5 cm)
 H x W Image
 10 1/16 x 8 9/16 in. (25.6 x 21.7 cm)
 Collections This Print
 Waseda University Cultural Resource Database 007-1978, 007-2960, 403-0327, 406-0001; Tokyo Metropolitan Library 5968-001; Mizuta Museum of Art, Josai International University jiu0417; National Diet Library Call Number 4055-40 (entire series bound into book); The Ringling SN11653.1 (entire series bound into book)
last revision:
4/17/2021 created