Yoshu Chikanobu


An Array of Auspicious Customs of Eastern Japan: Seven Garments on a Shrine Visit
(Azuma fuzoku fukuzukushi: Schichi fuku mode)

signed Yoshu Chikanobu hitsu at lower left, with publisher's seal of Takekawa Unokichi dated Meiji nijunen (Meiji 22 [1889])

oban tate-e 14 1/8 by 9 3/8 in., 35.8 by 23.9 cm

This series presents a collection of words that sound like the word fuku, which has several meanings, including 'auspicious.' In this case, the kanji for fuku means clothing, and the kanji for mode means pilgrimage or a shrine visit. Together with the Romanji in the title cartouche: '7 huku Moude' which alludes to the Shichifuku(jin), the Seven Lucky Gods, the print title can be understood as 'seven garments on a pilgrimage' or 'seven garments on a shrine visit.'

In this depiction of an outing at a shrine we see an elegant fashion-forward beauty who has accessorized her traditional kimono and geta with a very Victorian tassled shawl, dark crochet fingerless golves, and a parasol doing double-duty as a walking stick. She is surrounded by six other merry figures, all wearing Japanese clothing but three sporting foreign headware. Together, the seven figures subtly reference the Seven Lucky Gods. From left to right: Daikoku, with his floppy hat, Jurojin, wearing a fez to suggest the diety's elongated head; Fukurokujo, surmounted by a long-handled basket suggesting an even larger head; Ebisu, a prosperous figure wearing a black bowler while carrying a fish banner above his head; Bentan, the only female diety in the group; Hotei, the portly and bald figure representing abudance; and Bishamonten, wearing a woven sports cap with a black visor that alludes to his warrior's helmet.

Edo Tokyo Museum, reference no. 95201545
Honolulu Museum of Art, object no. 24008
(inv. no. 10-5319)

price: $650


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
October 21, 2021

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