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The Ken Game of the Three Countries (Sangoku ken): Actors Ichimura Uzaemon XII (in front) as the Ise Shrine of Japan (Nihon Daijingû), Nakamura Utaemon IV (at left) as the Buddha in India (Tenjiku Shaka), and Seki Sanjûrô III (in back) as Confucius in Chi

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MFA impressions: 11.28862, 11.39684


Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi ga 一勇斎国芳画


Censors' seals: Yoshimura, Muramatsu


By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850–d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 19, 2005) NOTES: [1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection

Japanese, Edo period, 1848 (Kôka 5/Kaei 1), 12th month

Catalogue Raisonné

Linhart, "Kuniyoshi's ken caricatures," Andon 83 (2008), list #31 (no photo); p. 20, translation of poem


Vertical ôban; 37 x 25.3 cm (14 9/16 x 9 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

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