Toyokuni III, Night Snow at Mimeguri

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III), 1786-1865

Night Snow at Mimeguri
(Mimeguri no Yoyuki)

each sheet signed Gototei Kunisada ga, with publisher's seal of Moriya Jihei, censor's seal kiwame (approved) seal, ca. 1825

oban tate-e triptych 14 3/8 by 30 1/4 in., 36.5 by 76.8 cm

This print depicts a group of actors and courtesans boarding ferries at the Mimeguri Jinja shrine; its stone torii gate is visible just below the snow-covered bank of the Sumida River. The Mimeguri Jinja, located in Mukojima, was a landmark along the ferry ride from central Edo to the pleasure quarters of Yoshiwara. Almost always depicted in the winter, the central dieties at the temple are dedicated to Ebisu, the god of fisherman, commerce and good fortune; and Daikoku, god of wealth and farmers. The shrine was frequented by the denziens of the entertainment districts, where they also would pay their respects at a grave-mound of a murdered slave boy; the loss of a child was considered a particularly female tragedy.

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