Tōshūsai SHARAKU<br/>
<em>Actor Matsumoto Yonesaburō as Kewaizaka no Shōshō, actually Shinobu</em> (c. 1794) <!-- (recto) --><br />
<em>(Matsumoto Yonesaburō no Kewaizaka no Shōshō miwa Shinobu 松本米三郎のけはい坂の少将 実はしのぶ)</em><br />
colour woodblock<br />
39.1 x 26.2 cm (sheet)<br />
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne<br />
Felton Bequest, 1966<br />
1658-5<br />



Yakusha-e (役者絵) are actor prints. A popular form of ukiyo-e, they advertise and commemorate kabuki performances, and often depicted well-known actors in character. Fans would collect yakusha-e prints of their favourite actors.

MUSHA-E (武者絵)

Musha-e (武者絵), or warrior print, is a type of ‘story print’. It is a form of ukiyo-e which depicts legendary tales of famous warriors and heroes – often showing a dramatic moment. These tales, along with folk tales and supernatural stories, were popular subject matter in kabuki theatre. Ukiyo-e artists depicted climactic scenes from folktales or kabuki by presenting them in bold and vivid colours in a stylised way that captured the drama and excitement of the scene. These images might remind you of scenes from action films and anime.

Download worksheet


This teacher resource includes activities and projects which have been flexibly designed to support learning both in the Gallery and the classroom.