Utamaro: The Courtesan HInazuru of the Chôjiya
Artist: Kitagawa Utamaro
Title: The Courtesan HInazuru of the Chôjiya
Series: Six Jewel Rivers (Mutamagawa)
“Hinazuru of the Chôjiya, [kamuro:] Tsuruji, Tsuruno”. The courtesan Hinazuru relaxes, holding a fan in her right hand, her obi loosely tied and her outer garment of translucent black falling back around her shoulders. A shinzô, or courtesan-in-training, sits next to her, also looking towards the right. The kimono hanging on a stand features flowing water, bleaching cloth and a mortar and pestles, which evoke the imagery of the Chôfu Jewel River. The kyoka poem has been translated as: “The Jewel River is white/In the morning mist./Cloth bleaching on a fence/Looks like a white kimono on a stand/At Hassaku Festival Time. Shôtôtei.” (Translation courtesy of Asano & Clark.) All the Yoshiwara courtesans wore white kimono for the Hassaku Festival. Although an extremely rare design, this must be from a second edition, as the publisher’s mark has been removed and the artist’s signature as well. From Utamaro’s best period. The example in the Brussels museum is also trimmed.
Condition: Very good impression, color and condition. Trimmed.
Publisher: Tsutaya Jûzaburô
Literature: See Asano & Clark’s “The Passionate Art of Kitagawa Utamaro” plate 102, pages 118 and 59.