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Maker(s):Teisai Senchō; Tsutaya Kichizō, publisher
Culture:Japanese (active ca. 1830–1850s); Japanese (active ca. 1820–1890)
Title:The Courtesan Nanabito of the Sugataebiya with Ochanomizu ('Sugataebiyanai nanabito ochanomizu'), from the series "Views of the East in All Its Glory" ('Zensei azuma fūkei')
Date Made:1830s
Materials:polychrome woodblock print
Place Made:Edo
Measurements:sheet: 14 1/4 in x 9 7/16 in ; 36.2 cm x 24.0 cm
Accession Number:  AC 1996.123
Credit Line:Gift of William Green
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

ōban tate-e; mitate-e; bijinga; nishiki-e

Label Text:
The tiger and dragon on this courtesan’s kimono are a common pairing in East Asian art, representing the duality of the universe. The earthly tiger’s fierce nature is evident through its lifelike pose, with its paws and tail coming off the obi, as if it is ready to pounce. In contrast, the heavenly dragon, more patient and wise, lies in wait for its adversary. Interestingly, the inner layer of robes incorporates the courtesan’s name as a stylized print, which, along with her name and the identification of her ageya, confirms that this is a depiction of an active courtesan, while also enhancing the symbolic use of the robes as markers of her identity. The kimono, which was certainly custom-made, indicates her success, though not necessarily her wealth: many courtesans’ robes were gifts from their rich patrons.
- BB, ed., 2015

women; sitting; pose; portraits; headdresses; kimonos; beauty; landscapes; animals; dragons

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