Preview as a fine art print, canvas wrap or framed print, then choose your preferred option below.


Kabuki Actor (1858)

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10 copies left in stock ⏳
  • Capturing the beauty of the original artwork

    Every one of our prints is made using the Giclee printing process, for a museum-quality look and feel that does justice to the original art.

    Giclee printing is the gold-standard for preserving the meticulous detail and stunning colors that we love in the Japanese masters. All our prints are fade and fingerprint resistant, so you can enjoy their beauty for years to come.

    We chose to offer 12”x18” (30cm x 45cm) as this was closest to the “chuban” size sheets used for woodblock prints historically.

    All of our prints come with matte finish for a more authentic appearance.

    Framing Options:

    • Unframed
    • Framed - black
    • Canvas wrap

    Ready-to-Hang and Made to Last

    Mounting brackets are included and centered on our framed prints and canvas wraps.

    All of our prints are made to last, with fade-resistant colors and materials. See how they arrive in the unboxing videos below.

  • About the Art

    In a dynamic sweeping pose, the kabuki actor readies himself to use his kendo.

    Although this piece is simply titled "kabuki actor", the date of this Kunisada print hints at being a scene from the play 'Edo Zakura Kiyomizu Seigen'. In the actor’s hand is a 'kendo', a two-handed samurai sword made of bamboo used for fencing.

    In the Edo period, fighting was no longer needed for survival, so the practice of kendo had more moral and spiritual significance. But in the kabuki play, the art of fencing is used once more for fighting.

    In a famous scene, a group of fencing disciples of rônin Torii Shinzaemon, stroll through the pleasure quarter looking for trouble. They drink sake and instigate an argument with the seller, dragging the old man away and beating him. A man overhears and comes to help, who the kendo fighters realise is the infamous otokodate Sukeroku, leader of the ‘black hands’ gang. The kendo disciples scurry off, and Sukeroku makes amends with the sake seller on their behalf.

    Outlaws such as this would have been recognisable by their tattoos, here being pictured in extraordinary detail. The dark silver background colouring was made using 'mica'; a ground-down pigment using mother of pearl. An interesting aspect of this piece is Kunisada’s use of perspective, a technique borrowed from western art. Using the mica, Kunisada creates depth and shadow, alluding to figures hastening past under the cloak of night.

  • We're proud to offer a shipping policy that compares favorably with any online retailer.

    🇺🇸 | United States
    🇬🇧 | United Kingdom
    🇨🇦 | Canada
    Fine Art Prints (Unframed); Canvas Wraps
    🇨🇦 | Canada
    Framed Prints
    🇦🇺 | Australia
    Fine Art Prints (unframed) only. (Canvas and framed prints not available due to import laws).
    🇮🇪 | Ireland
    🇪🇺 | EU
    🇳🇿 | New Zealand
    Fine Art Prints (Unframed)
    🇳🇿 | New Zealand Canvas Wraps and Framed Prints $20-35
    🌏 | Worldwide
    Premium Giclée Prints (unframed) only.
    🌏 | Worldwide Framed Prints $50

    You can find full details regarding shipping and delivery here.

    We're sure you'll love your prints. However, if there are any problems with the printing, we're happy to offer a free exchange or refund 100% of the purchase price. Simply return the print within 30 days. For full details of our refunds and exchanges policy click here.

How Your Art Arrives

Live a more artful, inspired life. Your ukiyo-e prints will spark moments of contemplation, serenity, joy and inspiration.

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