Flowers of the World of Pleasure
(Yukiyo no hana)
a beauty wringing out her kosode; sealed Shuntei, dated on left margin Meiji sanjuichinen rokugatsu toka (Meiji 31 , 6th month, 10th day) published by Akiyama Buemon
oban tate-e 13 3/4 by 9 1/4 in., 35 by 23.6 cm
The title of this series uses an unusual combination of kanji. The first character, Yu, literally translates as 'there is', however, it is often used in a zen Buddhist context, as in, 'there exists.' The second character, 'ki', is a seldom used kanji for 'joy' or 'pleasure,' followed by 'yo', for 'world' - the same 'yo' used in ukiyo-e (the floating world). The last character is another rarely used kanji, 'hana,' or flower, which also sometimes implies 'pride.' Thus the title, Flowers of the World of Pleasure, can also imply Beauties of the World of Pleasure or The Pride of the Pleasure World. It seems Shuntei, and/or the publisher Akiyama Buemon, were attempting to reframe and rename the all too familiar theme of the fleeting, floating world of ukiyo-e.
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Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
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site last updated
May 14, 2021
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
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