Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳)

Print: The Marvelous Doctor Treats Serious Diseases (Kitai na meii nanbyō ryōji - 難病療治 - きたいなめい医)

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Dates: 1850,created
Dimensions: 9.75 in,14.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Sighed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga
Publisher: Enshūya Hikobei
(Marks 055 - seal 22-005)
Censor seals: Hama and Magome

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Harvard Art Museums; National Diet Library; Victoria and Albert Museum; Drexel University, Philadelphia - right panel only; Finnish National Gallery - right panel only; The Wellcome Library; Database of Folklore Illustrations; National Museums Scotland - center panel; National Museums Scotland - left-hand panel; University of California, San Francisco Library; Hankyu Culture Foundation - right panel; Hankyu Culture Foundation - center panel; Hankyu Culture Foundation - left panel; Muzeum Sztuki i Techniki Japońskiej Manggha, Krakow; University of British Columbia, Museum of Anthropology - center panel only; The Bank of Japan;

Physical description:

The curatorial notes for this triptych at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston state: "The female doctor Kogarashi, daughter of the quack doctor Chikusai (Yabukusushi Chikusai musume meii Kogarashi), sits in the center in front of a floral screen; her four disciples, in black jackets, apply humorous 'treatments' to patients. Thought to be a political satire."


The curatorial files for this triptych at the Wellcome Library read: "A medico-political caricature of an historical figure, a princess, daughter to the Emperor, who was lame and did not want people to know it. She is shown in the right panel, wearing red, being attended by a doctor or surgeon in black (all the figures in black are doctors or surgeons). The yellow notice next to the princess says "Doctor no good! Quack!". At the top of the right panel a woman treats the facial effects of smallpox with a hot liquid mixture or its fumes. At the bottom of the right panel is a crouching woman with a long neck which she wants to have shortened The figures in the left panel are as follows: (top left) a dwarf who disguises his shortness with a long kimono; (right of dwarf) a man with colic; (middle left) a creditor demanding money from a debtor (the debtor is below); (lower left) a fat man whoo wants to be slim; (bottom left) "gonorrhoea" (or syphilis?), in which the mouth is eaten away; (middle right) caricature of slimming: a man is removing excess fat from a woman with the aid of a mallet and chisel; (top right) an angry woman Other scenes depicted include: fitting a princess with a raised sandal to disguise her lameness; removing teeth with pliers."



1) in black and white in 原色浮世絵大百科事典 (Genshoku Ukiyoe Daihyakka Jiten), vol. 5, p. 136.

2) in a small black and white reproduction in "L'ukiyo-e come arte «di uso e consumo»" by Manuela Capriati, Il Giappone, Vol. 41 (2001), fig. 11, p. 58.


There is also another copy of this print in the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden.