Keisai Eisen


Eight Favorite Things in the Modern World: Dolls
(Tosei kobutsu hakkei: Ningyo)

signed Keisai Eisen ga, censor's seal kiwame, and publisher's mark Senichi (Izumiya Ichibei of Kansendo), ca. 1823

oban tate-e 15 1/8 by 10 3/8 in., 38.5 by 26.3 cm

This series, which likens beauties to their 'favorite things,' depicts women and teenaged girls in association with objects that reflect personal interests or passions. In this case, in the upper left corner the hina doll contained within a storage box signed with the name of a well-known hina doll-maker, Shugetsu saku (Hara Shugetsu II of Asakusa) resonates with this beauty's beloved, a doll she holds in her hands while examining it closely. The girl's hairstyle, with the pink fabric tied in a bow in the front and securing her coiffure in the back, indicates she is a shinzo (apprentice courtesan), with the fresh face of one in her early teens. Her apparent delight in the object of her affection further confirms her young age, and Eisen dresses her appropriately in a youthful palette of rose and aubergine.

Keisai Eisen: Artist of the Floating World, Chiba City Museum of Art, 2012, pp. 68-69 (series)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, gift of Porter Sargent, accession no. 49.1737

(inv. no. 10-0284)

price: $8,000


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.
Visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing at their discretion.

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