Backstage: Nakamura Shikan IV

Utagawa Kunisada (aka Toyokuni III)

Backstage: Nakamura Shikan IV


woodblock print

14 1/2 by 9 3/4 in., 36.8 by 24.9 cm

Scholten Japanese Art

New York, NY


Under $2,200

More Information

The actor Nakamura Shikan IV (1831-99) is seated before a red lacquer mirror stand as he puts on a wig with the help of an attendant, unseen except for his hands, whose holds a hair pick at the ready to fix the coiffure. Shikan IV, the son of a former kabuki actor who had become a backstage manager in Osaka, took to the stage at an early age. Having already performed as a child in Osaka, Shikan was adopted by another actor from the same Nakamura clan who brought him to Edo where he developed further and became one of the most successful and versatile actors of his time, touring widely throughout Japan.