Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
7 p.m. - Evening Geisha with Plum Blossoms
Series; Twenty-Four Hours at Shinbashi and Yanagibashi, 1880
The Twenty-four Hours at Shinbashi and Yanagibashi - The Shinbashi and Yanagibashi were famous pleasure quarters in Tokyo. The geisha within were fascinating to the public and many woodblock print series were created detailing the lives they led. Each design in this 24-print series depicts the activities of a different geisha at a specific hour of the day. Published in 1880, the writer-journalist Takabatakae Ransen (1838 - 85) composed the text in the insets on each print. This captivating series by Yoshitoshi strongly cemented his place in the genre of bijin-ga, pictures of beautiful women.
Throughout the series are indicators of the increasing influence of Western cultures on Japan, from the Western-style newspapers mentioned to the very nature of the twenty-four-hour clock itself. This series is an excellent opportunity for those interested in the rapid changes taking place in Japan during the Meiji era, and for Yoshitoshi collectors alike. Don't miss out on these incredible pieces!
7 p.m. - Evening Geisha with Plum Blossoms - Charming portrait of a beauty cutting a flowering plum branch for a New Year's decoration. She smiles as she works, gently biting the tip of her tongue with concentration. She wears a checked kimono over a red under robe with a purple tie-dyed collar, her hair smoothed back into a large bun with a tiny forelock curved back into place and held with a small comb. A display behind her holds large mochi (rice cakes) adorned with greenery, with a sake cask below. The inset above shows a servant carrying two oil lamps with orange flames. An attractive design with fine line work in the hair.
Translation of Inset Text:
Where they are gathered happily
For the New Year's party
Kameseiro, where they invoke
Long, prosperous lives
For those delivering
Decorations of the season.
And, among other places, Yanagiya,
With cocoon-shaped mochi cakes
Tied to green willow branches,
Brought in from the pilgrimage
In the auspicious direction.
New Year's makes for busy evenings,
With a flood of guests On the day for dressing up
In garments worn for the first time.
She wears a splendid silk chiffon,
Which someone splashed with sake.
The scent of it hangs on
Under the third-day moon
Over the ever-blooming plums -
A melancholy scene.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 13 1/4" x 8 7/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Small loss at corner, a few holes, repaired. Slight toning and soiling, a few creases and small spots. Please see photos for details.