Due to a power outage we are closed today, July 23. Today's screening of "The Mermaid" will take place at National Museum of American History as planned.

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: Actor Bando Mitsugoro III as the Maiden of Dojoji

Actor Bando Mitsugoro III as the Maiden of Dojoji

Woodblock print
Artist: Utagawa Kunisada 歌川国貞 (1786-1864)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1816
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 36.3 x 25.6 cm (14 5/16 x 10 1/16 in)
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
Bando Mitsugoro III (1773-1831), a leading star of the Edo stage in the early nineteenth century, performs a spectacular dance piece in which the Maiden of Dojoji transforms herself into a demon. The demonic form of a character is often revealed through rapid, seemingly instantaneous costume changes achieved by wearing multilayered costumes that can be readily removed. Actors displayed their virtuosity in roles such as the Maiden of Dojoji, a young girl named Kiyo who had fallen into unrequited love with a young priest. After destroying the temple bell and the object of her affection in a fit of anger over his rejection, she returns to the temple in the guise of a young pilgrim and reveals her true identity in the course of a dance. Mitsugoro engaged in an artistic rivalry with the Osaka actor, Nakamura Utaemon III when the latter came to act in Edo, and transformation pieces like this dance were one of the areas in which the actors competed.
Provenance information is currently unavailable
On View Location
Currently not on view
actor, Anne van Biema collection, demon, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, kabuki, ukiyo-e
Collection(s) Area
Japanese Art
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

The Freer is closed for renovation and reopening in 2017. The Sackler remains open, with a full lineup of exhibitions and events both in the museum and around DC.