[Two old men, possibly actors, one standing, holding an umbrella, the other reclining]
Title devised by Library staff.
Gift; Crosby Stuart Noyes; 1906.
Forms part of: Crosby Stuart Noyes collection (Library of Congress).
Forms part of: Japanese prints and drawings (Library of Congress).
Yakusha-e (役者絵), or "actor prints", are Japanese woodblock prints of kabuki actors, popular through the Edo period (1603–1867) and into the beginnings of the 20th century. Prints, especially earlier ones, depict actors generically, and plainly, showing in a sense their true natures as actors merely playing roles. Other prints, meanwhile, take something of the opposite: they show kabuki actors and scenes elaborately, intentionally blurring the distinction between a play and the actual events it seeks to evoke.