Artist: Kunichika Toyohara (1835-1900)
Title: Kawarazaki Gonjuro
Series: Famous Roles of Fashionable Edo
Publisher: Yorozuya Zentaro
The actor Kawarazaki Gonjuro, portraying a fireman, is shown in this print. His tattooed arms are on display and he is carrying a matoi, which was a sort of flag identifying particular groups of firefighters. Matoi would be put up by the first brigade to respond to a fire outbreak. It signalled other brigades and called them for assistance and was also a way of staking a claim on having saved a property to be able to collect a reward for that later.