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MFA for Educators

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

Three-part Dogs for Special Use (Tokuyô muki inu no sanwari): Three Dogs Look LIke Nine, Two Dogs Look like Four (Sanbiki no inu kyûhiki ni mieru, nihiki no inu yonhiki ni miyuru)

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A fortune-teller's table is overturned by fighting street dogs. The dogs are drawn as composites, with one head connected to two or three bodies, so that counting the dogs becomes a puzzle.


Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi giga 一勇斎国芳戯画


Censors' seals: Muramatsu, Yoshimura No blockcutter's mark No publisher's mark Artist's seal: kiri


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, 1847–52 (Kôka 4–Kaei 5)

Catalogue Raisonné

Salter, Japanese Popular Prints (2006), p. 139, fig. 146; Inagaki, Edo no asobi-e (1988), #55


Vertical ôban; 37 x 25 cm (14 9/16 x 9 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

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