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Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Portrait of Bashô (Bashô-ô no zô), title page for the series Fashionable Versions of Ink in Five Colors (Fûryû goshiki-zumi)

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The banana plants (bashô) are a visual pun on the name of the great haiku poet Matsuo Bashô. Ink in Five Colors (Goshiki-zumi) was the title of an anthology of haiku poetry published in 1731; Harunobu's series uses modern scenes to illustrate five selected poems from the anthology. This is the...

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Jihitsu Ankei (possibly referring to calligrapher)


Formerly in the Sumitomo collection; June 1913, purchased by William S. and John T. Spaulding from Yamanaka & Co.; December 1, 1921, given by William S. and John T. Spaulding to the Museum.

Credit Line

William S. and John T. Spaulding Collection

Japanese, Edo period, about 1768 (Meiwa 5)

Catalogue Raisonné

Waterhouse cat. #320; Ukiyo-e shûka supp. 1 (1982), pl. 318; the series: Ukiyo-e shûka 4 (1979), list #324 (this design not listed)


Vertical chûban; 26.7 x 19.9 cm (10 1/2 x 7 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper