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Maker(s):Yashima Gakutei; Tani Seikō, publisher
Culture:Japanese (ca. 1786-1868); Japanese (active 1822-1831)
Title:An Oiran Making New Year Visits
Date Made:ca. 1820s
Materials:woodblock print (surimono); ink and color on paper, with metallic and embossed embellishments
Place Made:Asia; Japan; Osaka
Measurements:sheet: 8 3/8 in x 7 1/8 in ; 21.3 cm x 18.1 cm
Accession Number:  AC 1998.71
Credit Line:Gift of William Green
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Elaborately dressed oiran, the highest rank of courtesan, standing under pine boughs, with design of a fish on her obi (sash) and a poems by Kitamado Umeyoshi and Tsurunoya, a poet whose personal emblem appears on the courtesan's sash. Gourd seal of publisher and engraver Tani Seikō in the lower right corner. Signature of Gakutei using variant character for 'tei' with artist's seal.

Label Text:
This print of an elaborately dressed oiran, the highest-ranking courtesan at the time, is an ornate and lavish commission meant to celebrate the New Year. As private commissions, surimono were not beholden to the sumptuary edicts limiting the materials and techniques of commercial woodblock printing, and the resulting higher quality is evident. The luminescent shine of kira-zuri (mica printing), commonly used as decorative effect, draws the eye to the silver waves, flowers, and emblem backgrounds of the kimono. Careful observation also reveals detailed embossing of the robe’s designs. In addition, although the lines at the top of this print have since oxidized because of exposure and age, when this card was first given they would have glistened, to judge from the metallic ink that is still visible.
- BB, ed., 2015

figures; women; kimonos; headdresses; patterns; fish; waves; botanical illustration; text

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