Skip to Content
Closed now, next open tomorrow. Closed now, next open tomorrow.

The Cup of Long Life

A work made of color woodblock print; surimono.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of color woodblock print; surimono.


spring 1883


Shibata Zeshin
Japanese, 1807-1891

About this artwork

This colorful print shows an engraved black-lacquer box and a red-lacquer sake cup with myriad characters. The box is inscribed “long life sake cup,” and the cup is covered with the many different versions of the character for “long life” (kotobuki). There were traditionally 100 variations of this character, emphasizing this number as the ultimate in longevity.
The host of this print was the poet, author, and essayist Kameda Hozan. Many examples of large-scale surimono by Shibata Zeshin exist; he must have set up a large establishment in order to cater to orders from poets and intellectuals. Since Zeshin was engaged in many official commissions in other media and had a large group of apprentices, he probably left most of the details of surimono production to his apprentices.


Currently Off View


Arts of Asia


Shibata Zeshin


The Cup of Long Life


Japan (Artist's nationality)




Color woodblock print; surimono


57.4 × 43.3 cm (22 5/8 × 17 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Charles H. Mitchell Collection unrestricted gift

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions