Toyohara Kunichika


Actors as Underworld Characters in Hit Plays: Actor Ichikawa Kuzo III as Rat Boy Jirokichi
(Isa shiranami atari goketsu: Ichikawa Kuzo, Nezumi Kozo Jirokichi)

signed Kunichika ga with artist's Toshidama seal, combined censor and date seal Ne-go, aratame (year of the rat [1864], 5th lunar month, examined), publisher's seal Hanmoto, Izutsuya of Izutsuya Shokichi, and carver's seal Katada Hori Cho (Katada Chojiro)

oban tate-e 14 1/8 by 9 3/4 in., 36 by 24.8 cm

The actor Ichikawa Kuzo III (Ichikawa Danzo III, 1836-1911) is in the role of Nezumi Kozo (lit. 'Rat Boy') Jirokichi, the infamous thief from Japanese history and kabuki theater. The historical Nakamura Jirokichi (1797-1831) was a petty criminal with an admittedly impressive resume - over the course of his lifetime, it is said he burgled over 100 samurai estates and stole over 30,000 ryo, no small sum. Mysteriously, at the time of his arrest, Jirokichi had little money to his name. He subsequently gained a Robin Hood-esque reputation, as many assumed he had distributed his missing treasures amongst the poor.

price: $300


Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only

Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
Visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing at their discretion.

site last updated
December 1, 2022

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475