Isoda Koryusai, fl. ca. 1764-1789
Ten Fashionable Views of Famous Places in Edo: Evening Bell at Nippori
(Furyu Edo meisho jukkei: Nichibo bansho)
a beauty with two attendants on a picnic, signed Koryu ga, ca. 1770
chuban tate-e 10 1/4 by 7 5/8 in., 26 by 19.4 cm
Koryusai, a samurai retained by the lord of Tsuchiya, moved to Edo to become an ukiyo-e artist following the death of his lord. Although he was thought to have been a student of Nishimura Shigenaga (ca, 1697-1756), stylistically, there is a closer connection to Suzuki Harunobu (1724-1770). Around 1769 (at the age of 35) he began to produce his first prints which bore the signature Haruhiro (only eight designs are known), implying a professional relationship between the two artists. His early work, such as the example illustrated here, capture the same innocence with subtle eroticism as found in the work of Harunobu.
In this composition a furishin (a shinzo, or apprentice courtesan, identified by her long furisode sleeves) holds her right hand demurely to her chin and turns away, while she seems to steady herself against the more mature man on her left who takes the opportunity to reach into her sleeve. The beautiful young male attendant to her right looks over his shoulder while carrying a large box bundled on his left shoulder and a gold and black lacquer tsunodaru bento (bucket-form picnic container) in the other hand, presumably the remnants of a boozy repast. As the men guide the young beauty along, the poem explains how she had forgotten herself among the heady blossoms.
hana no yoi
I have forgotten
it is time to leave
intoxicated by the flowers
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Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
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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
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