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Courtesan Okuma of the Shirokiya

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Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (aka Yoshitoshi), Japanese, (1839–1892)
Courtesan Okuma of the Shirokiya, 1886
Ink on paper
14 1/16 x 18 11/16 in. (35.72 x 47.47 cm)


Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Meiji (Japan, 1869-1912)
Credit Line: Gift of Jean Marshall Cates '37
Accession Number: 2013.20.7


Commentary
Handsome scene from the play "Tsuyu kosode mukashi hachijo." The young beauty Okuma's widowed mother runs the Shirokiya lumber house, but needs to find her daughter a husband who can take over the business. She arranges a marriage for Okuma with a wealthy man, but Okuma is secretly in love with the man's head clerk, Chushichi. She proposes that the pair run away and commit lover's suicide, but Chushichi needs time to think, so when a traveling barber arrives, he agrees to have his hair done. The crooked barber comes up with a scheme to kidnap Okuma and ransom her, so that Chushichi can win favor by rescuing her. Here, Okuma stands in the doorway, anxiously clasping her hands together as the barber roughly combs Chushichi's hair while staring at her. The clerk howls in pain, waving his hand as the barber tugs at his hair. Books and scrolls are hung on the wall and the barber's chest filled with scissors and combs rests on the floor nearby. An interesting illustration with a nicely detailed setting.

From: Fuji Arts Japanese Prints http://www.fujiarts.com/cgi-bin/item.pl?item=362407

Medium
ink on paper

Object Description
diptych

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