Darumaĺs Buffoonery

(D˘ke Daruma asobi, 道外だるまけん)

Publisher: Hori Masa and Okaei



After the imposition of a ban on actor prints in 1842, Kuniyoshi produced numerous humorous designs with thinly disguised actorsĺ portraits.á In this series, well-known actors are portrayed as Daruma, without any mention of their names.á This series is listed as number 191 in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1961).á The prints in this series are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ˘ban.



Title: Comical Ken Game of Darumas (D˘ke Daruma ken, 道化だるまけん)

Description: Actors Nakamura Utaemon IV (right), Ichikawa Kuz˘ II (center) and Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VI (left) playing the game of ken

Publisher: Hori Masa



I am grateful to Marc DeVriese for this variant with bokashi (gradual shading of color) on only one figure.


Title: Zazenmame

Description: Actors Ichimura Uzaemon XII (right), Ichikawa Danjűr˘ VIII (center) and Onoe Kikujir˘ II (left)

Publisher: Okaei


Title: Sumidagawa

Description: Actors Band˘ Shűka (right), Sawamura S˘jűr˘ V (center) and Onoe Kikugor˘ III (left)



Another state without any purple


Title: Otowa no taki

Description: Actors Badn˘ Shűka and Onoe Kikugor˘ III

Publisher: Hori Masa


I am grateful to Robert Pryor for this image.





Publisher: Hori Masa


Image courtesy of Marie de Strycker