Series of Popular Songs on Children’s Games

(Kodomo asobi nagauta zukushi, 子供遊長唄尽)

Publisher: Wakasa-ya Yoichi

c. 1840


The title of this series may also be translated as A Collection of Children Playing Roles (nagauta).  It shows children in roles from kabuki plays with song lyrics inscribed above.  Prints showing actors were frowned upon by the authorities and intermittently banned.  This series may have been a way of circumventing the restrictions by showing children, rather than actors, in roles from kabuki plays.  The series is listed as number 109 in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1961).  The prints in this series are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ôban.  I am grateful to Robert Pryor for his contributions to this series. 




Title: Shiokumi (brine carrier, 汐くみ)

Role: The brine carrier Matsukaze

Description: Girl carrying two buckets of salt water



Another state of the above design


Title: Wankyû (わん久)

Role: Wan’ya Kyûbê

Description: Dancing boy



Title: Kashima odori (加しまおどり)

Role: The itinerant Kashima priest Kashima no kotofure

Description: Two dancing boys




Title: Harugoma (Spring Colt, 春駒)


Description: Two girls performing the harugoma dance


NOTE: The harukoma dance is usually performed with hobbyhorses or horse masks.



An alternate state of the above design.


Title: Dôjôji (道成寺)


Description: Dancing girl



Title: Shirozake (sweet white sake, しろざけ売)

Role: The sweet white sake seller Shirozake Uri

Description: Child as sake seller with two buckets



Another state of the above design without purple


Title: Tenaraiko (手ならい子)

Role: The calligraphy student Tenaraiko

Description: Child with open umbrella holding calligraphy book


A simplified state of the above design




Description: Child dancing with fan and butterflies






Description: Two boys, one with a sword and the other carrying two bundles on his shoulder


Title: Sanbaso Dance (さんば)




Robinson” refers to listing of the series in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1961).