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MPL Digital Collections

Scrapbook of Japanese Prints

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Scrapbook of Japanese Prints

A meticulously organized scrapbook of original 1800s woodblock prints (ukiyo-e), featuring the works of Utagawa Kunisada and others.


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This digital collection features images of an item from the Richard E and Lucile Krug Rare Books Room, an accordion bound scrapbook of gorgeous and vibrant Japanese Prints (ukiyo-e).

This scrapbook was carefully laid out by its designer, starting with a work depicting two kabuki actors, Ichikawa Danjûrô VIII and Bando Shuka I , who feature prominently throughout the album. These two actors, known for portraying lovers on stage, both died tragically within months of one another. Death prints commemorating both denote a break in time in the scrapbook's layout, before it concludes with a dramatic reimagining of the circumstances of Danjûrô's suicide.

While focused mainly on Kabuki prints, there are a variety of interesting images to delight and enthrall all kinds of interested parties.

Some items have limited identification due to language and research limitations. Are you able to provide further information about any of these prints? Please reach out to us at mplarchives@mpl.org.

If interested in making an appointment to view the item in person, more information can be found at the Rare Books Room page.