Keisai Eisen


Grass on the Way of Love- Ueno Teahouse Waitress
(Koi no michikusa: Ueno kai eri ni yoru chaya musume)

the eighth design from an album of twelve prints; a teahouse waitress at Ueno tries to resist the advances of an amorous customer, a small porcelain cup is knocked over in the struggle, ca. 1825-28

oban yoko-e 10 1/4 by 14 5/8 in., 26 by 37 cm

The waitress is not compliant and protests: “"Somebody might be coming!”" but he insists “"Take the bottom off!”" and manages to lift her kimono hem.

The son of the calligrapher and poet Ikeda Shigeharu, Eisen studied painting with Kano Hakkeisai, a senior student at the Kano Eisen-in studio. He later boarded at the house of the genre painter, Kikugawa Eijiri (where he met Eijiri's second son, the artist Kikugawa Eizan (1787-1867). Although they were only four years apart, according to Richard Lane, he became Eizan's student who gave him the name Eisen in 1816. Eizan was a friend of Totoya Hokkei (1780-1850), a leading student of Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). Both Eizan and Eisen display considerable influence from Hokusai, particularly in their shunga compositions. Lane notes that although Eisen developed his own ukiyo-e style which was influenced by Eizan, his shunga prints display greater influence from his 'true' master, Hokusai.

Highlights of Japanese Printmaking Part 4: Shunga, Scholten Japanese Art, 2014, cat. no. 44

Fukuda Kazuhiko, Ukiyo-e no higi ga, 1978, p. 111
Richard Lane and Hayashi Yoshikazu (eds.), The Complete Ukiyo-e Shunga, no. 14, Eisen's Life and Ehon Hana no Oku, 1997, p. 40
Gian Carlo Calza, Poem of the Pillow and Other Stories by Utamaro, Hokusai, Kuniyoshi and Other Artists of the Floating World, 2010, pp. 417-418, 430

price: $2,500


Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only

Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
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site last updated
June 4, 2023

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475