Keisai Eisen


A Tokaido Board Game of Courtesans, Yoshiwara Parody of the Fifty-three Pairings: Hakone, Uryuno of Okamotoya
(Keisei dochu sugoroku, mitate yoshiwara gojusan tsu: Hakone, Okamoto nai Uryuno)

signed Keisai Eisen ga, the series title within the black cartouche, Keisei dochu sugoroku, and to the right of the pictoral cartouche, Mitate yoshiwara gojusan tsu, the print title inscribed within the frame, Hakone, with the courtesan identified below, Okamotoya nai Uryuno, with censor's seal kiwame (approved), and publisher's mark of Tsutaya Kichizo (Koeido), ca. 1821-23

oban tate-e 15 3/8 by 10 1/4 in., 38.9 by 26.1 cm

The courtesan Uryuno of the Okamotoya house models an indo-ai (Indian indigo) uchikake (formal coat) standing near a fusuma panel painted with fronds of bamboo. The deep blue of the fabric gradually lightens towards the lower half decorated with autumnal vines and a rooster perched on a war drum, an image emblematic of a time of peace. The collars of her inner layers of clothing and the padded hems alternate with diagonal koshi (lattice) geometric motifs and beni-dyed (rose red from safflower) resist patterns. Her obi is decorated with dark and light green karakusa (scrolling vine) roundels over pink sayagata (interlocking Buddhist 'manji' character) on a black ground and edged with beni and brown fabric with yellow (possibly embroidered gold) cherry blossoms. Her yoko-hyogo hairstyle with two coiffed sections resembles the open wings of a butterfly, together with a full array of hair ornaments confirms she is a high-ranking Yoshiwara courtesan.

Cincinnati Art Museum, accession no. 1905.312.11
Chiba City Museum of Art, Keisai Eisen: Artist of the Floating World, 2012, p. 193, no. 227

(inv. no. 10-5075)

price: $3,800

Keisai Eisen



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site last updated
March 21, 2023

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