actor prints (yakusha-e - 役者絵) (genre )



Yakusha-e are prints portraying kabuki actors.

"The traditional word for actor in Japan, dating to the time of Zeami, is yakusha. , kyōgen, and kabuki actors are yakusha, although the word haiyū—the Chinese-derived pronunciation of another word for actor, wazaogi—came into use for kabuki actors in the 1880s, when kabuki’s respectability quotient was rising, because haiyū had more social status than yakusha."

Quoted from: An Historical Dictionary of Japanese Traditional Theatre by Samuel L. Leiter, p. 29.