fl. ca. 1850's-70's
American Family with Dancing Daughter
signed Yoshikazu ga, with publisher's seal Jokin (Joshuya Kinzo of Shofukudo), combined censor and date seal Inu-ju, aratame (year of the dog , 10th month, examined)
oban tate-e 14 1/4 by 9 3/4 in., 36.3 by 24.7 cm
Yoshikazu derived the subject of a little girl dancing with castanets from an illustration titled: May Festival Ball of the Children at Willard's Hotel, Given in Honor of the Japanese Ambassadors published in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper on June 9, 1860. The Washington, D.C. ball celebrated Japan's first embassy to the United States. The following year, one of the delegates, Kato Somo, published an account of his journey in which he noted how impressed he was with the performance. He described the children: "They had neither powder nor rouge, but their natural, beautiful complexion was whiter than snow, and more resplendent than jewels. They looked like goddesses [tennyo] in Paradise [shinsenkyo]."
In December of 1860, Yoshikazu published a triptych with a young girl dancing with castanets in a Western-style ballroom for a large audience, holding the same pose as the girl in the illustration published in the American newspaper in June. In this composition from two years later, Yoshikazu presents a more intimate setting with a little girl dancing for a couple, perhaps her own parents.
Ann Yonemura, Yokohama: Prints from Nineteenth-Century Japan, 1990, pp.142-143, cat. no. 54 (1860 newspaper illustration and triptych)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession no. JP3323a for a similar composition also by Yoshikazu from 1861
Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only
Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm for no more than two individuals at a time.
In order to adhere to New York State guidelines visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing.
site last updated
July 10, 2020
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
Join our mailing list...