Original Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) Japanese Woodblock Print
11 p.m. - Geisha Asleep by Lantern
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!
11 p.m. - Geisha Asleep by Lantern - Charming design of a tired geisha resting her head in her lap as she rides in a pleasure boat towards a teahouse. A red robe is draped across her knees, and she wears a solid blue-green outer kimono, the gray collar of her under robe featuring a geometric pattern. A paper lantern shaded in pink hangs near her head. The inset above shows a woman standing on the edge of a teahouse dock holding a red lantern to welcome the visitors arriving by boat. A nice compact composition with vibrant color.
Translation of Inset Text:
It is spring, but cool. The moon descends
Over the Sumida River shallows.
The cherry blossoms on the shore
Cast a white reflection on the water.
As the frogs by the dam
Raised their voices in song,
They arrived at the Yaomatsu dock,
And did not mind at all
That the seafood selections were all gone.
Taking whatever was available
Of eggs and pickles
For their tipsy tete-a-tete,
What were the negotiations
And the joys that were theirs
In the boat before it passed
The Makura Bridge?
Ask the miyakodori
Sleeping along the banks;
They may know what those matters were.
(A fitting name for a geisha!)
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 13 1/8" x 8 7/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Slight paper remnants on reverse near top corners from previous mounting. Stitching holes at side, small losses at corners, repaired. Slight toning and soiling, a few creases and stains. Please see photos for details.