Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
2 a.m. - Geisha Drinking Wine from a Kettle
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!
2 a.m. - Geisha Drinking Wine from a Kettle - Amusing image of a geisha drinking sake from a kettle, tipping the spout directly into her mouth. Her purple outer robe is loosely wrapped about her, worn over a red under robe with an olive green tie-dyed collar. Her hair is pulled back into a large bun adorned with a comb and single hairpin, a few loose wisps framing her face. A glass tumbler sits on a black lacquer tray at right, while robes hang over a stand at left. The inset above shows a woman yawning sleepily and scratching her upraised arm, trying to stay awake. Fine shading in the kettle background, and delicate line work in the hair.
Translation of Inset Text -
The first slap of the clappers
That signals the end of an act,
Known as the chon,
Is, for the geisha,
The word for another scene,
That which follows
The opening of the curtain
On each wild party.
All unaware of the battle scene
Done in groping pantomime
In the darkened dining room,
Her shamisen-bearer yawns repeatedly,
As from the room soft oohs and aahs,
And laughing, now weeping, voices
Come forth and die away.
Recorded by the Proprietor of Tentendo
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 13 1/4" x 8 3/4" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Slight thinning on reverse near top corners from previous mounting. Stitching holes at side, a few holes, repaired. Slight toning and soiling, a few creases, stain, slight paper remnants at side. Please see photos for details.