Quick Practice to Draw Portraits of Kabuki Actors (Yakusha Nigao Hayageiko)
Painted by Utagawa Toyokuni I 1817 (Bunka 14) Tokyo Shiryō Collection 5714-23 Kaga Collection 5990

This is a guide book for how to draw portraits of Kabuki actors, written by Toyokuni I, an actor illustration expert. The illustrations of Kabuki actors were so popular that this kind of guide book was published.

Kabuki actors' prints that depicted their performance on the stage and daily lives started as portraits in around the Meiwa era (1764-1772). They played a role similar to modern-day stars' pictures, and were produced/sold in large numbers.
This work sold well as a guide book for how to draw portraits of kabuki actors. Ichikawa Danjūrō V (right) was replaced with Danjūrō VII (left) in the later version, which indicates that this guide book had been sold for a long time. This book gives clear explanations, including "When you draw a person's face, you should start with the nose and then mouth and eyes as shown in this picture."
In addition, this guide book includes explanations such as "Abbreviated Portraits of Kabuki Actors", which illustrates the points to draw a portrait well, and "Essentials of Wigs for Stage" and "Technique to Draw Human Body and Costume", which illustrates the technique to draw a body first and then put costume on it.