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Eisen
Keisai Eisen, 1790-1848
Eight Favorite Things in the Modern World: Theater
(Tosei kobutsu hakkei: Shibai)

a beauty holding a battledore and shuttlecock, at the upper left is a folded kabuki program, the multi-colored cover decorated with a crest, beneath it is a narrow white folded flyer titled Shin-yakusha-zuke ('New Actors'); signed Keisai Eisen ga with artist's seal Sen, published by Izumiya Ichibei of Kansendo, ca. 1823
oban tate-e 15 3/8 by 10 1/2 in., 39.1 by 26.7 cm
This young beauty is likely a shinzo (teenage apprentice courtesan), identifiable by her hairstyle and colorful attire. She holds a battledore paddle and a shuttlecock for use in a game (similar to badminton) that was traditionally played at the New Year. The kabuki materials at the upper left corner relate to theater advertisements which would have been released a few months earlier. The crest decorating the folded program is probably that of the Nakamura Theater, one of the major theaters in Edo. It rests on a folded playbill which would have been published by the theater shortly before the Kaomise, the annual eleventh-month production featuring the actors, playwrights and musicians of the company engaged for the upcoming season.
price: $ 7,500