Special Summer Exhibition “Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of Utagawa Toyokuni III’s Death: Actor Parodies of the Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Highway”

Exhibit Period

First Half: Saturday, June 27 - Sunday, July 26, 2015
Second Half: Friday, July 31 - Sunday, August 30, 2015

Exhibit Times

9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
(last admissions at 4:30 p.m.)

Organized by

Nakagawa-machi Bato Hiroshige Museum of Art

Museum closed

First Half: June 29, July 6, 13, 21 Second Half: August 3, 10, 17, 24

Admission Fee

Adults: 700 (630) yen High School, College Students: 400 (360) yen * Fees in parentheses are group rates for 20 or more visitors * Free admission for elementary and junior high school students, and preschoolers * Half price for visitors with a physical disability certificate, and half price for one accompanying caregiver


We are hosting a special exhibition commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the death of Utagawa Toyokuni III (1786-1865). Toyokuni III was the leading figure in the world of ukiyo-e during the closing days of the Tokugawa Shogunate. It is said his career as an artist lasted more than 60 years. His masterworks in a variety of fields are still with us-figure prints, actor prints, landscapes and more. This time, we present “Actor Parodies of the Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Highway,” one of Toyokuni III’s representative works. In the background of each print is a landscape of one of the stations on the Tokaido Highway; a half-length portrait of a popular actor is located in the foreground. At first, the plan was to complete the series with 55 prints, but due to its popularity editing continued on the series by adding stations between the ones originally featured. Although the precise number of works in the series was unknown for many years, progress made in recent years by researchers has revealed that there were 140 works in all.  These actor prints were drawn by Toyokuni III at the peak of his artistic maturity, and they give us the opportunity to know who were the most popular actors at the time. We hope you will be fascinated by these actors striking their characteristic poses in front of the scenery of the stations on the highway.

Museum Talk

A guided tour of the exhibit in Japanese (requires payment of the above admission fee)
First Half: Saturday, June 27, 2015 beginning at 1:30 p.m. Presented by Shindo Shigeru, Ukiyo-e Researcher
Second Half: Saturday, August 1, 2015 beginning at 1:30 p.m. Presented by Shindo Shigeru, Ukiyo-e Researcher