In this unidentified role, Iwai Hanshirō IV is costumed as a woman with long flowing hair, wielding a sword. Men of the Edo period shaved their head from the forehead back to the crown, leaving the side and back hair long, though tied in an updo. Even after the practice was abandoned for Kabuki theater actors specializing in female roles, they kept the custom of concealing the area that would once have been bare, so Hanshirō has a <em>murasaki no bōshi</em> (紫の帽子), or purple headband, attached to his wig.

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  • Title: Iwai Hanshirō IV as a Woman with a Sword
  • Creator: Katsukawa Shunei (Japanese, 1762-1819)
  • Date Created: 1791
  • Physical Dimensions: Sheet: 31.5 x 14 cm (12 3/8 x 5 1/2 in.)
  • Provenance: William S. Spaulding [1865–1937] and John T. Spaulding [1870–1948], Boston, MA, (American Art Association, November 18, 1921 sale, lot 638), (Yamanaka & Co., sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Print
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1921.1287
  • Medium: color woodblock print
  • Original Title: 四代目岩井半四郎の刀を持つ女性
  • Inscriptions: Signature: Shunei ga Censorship Seal: kiwame
  • Department: Japanese Art
  • Culture: Japan, Edo period (1615-1868)
  • Credit Line: Gift from J. H. Wade
  • Collection: Japanese Art
  • Accession Number: 1921.1287

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