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(Japanese, active c. 1782–98)
Triptych of color woodblock prints
Overall: 31 x 14.5 cm (12 3/16 x 5 11/16 in.)
Gift from J. H. Wade 1921.314
This triptych (a composition of three prints) 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.
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