Customs of the Twelve Months with Kyoka: First Month
signed Utamaro ga, published by Wakasaya Yoichi (Jakurindo), ca. 1790-91
chuban tate-e 9 5/8 by 6 3/4 in., 24.6 by 17.1 cm
From an untitled series depicting scenes from festivities throughout the year. A pair of manzai dancers stand before a folding screen with their audience visible as silhouettes through bamboo blinds and peeking around the edge of the last panel. Manzai dancers performed during New Years' festivities in pairs with a straight man (tayu) and a comic (saizo) offering song and dance with auspicious blessings. The kyoka is by Nomikuchi Hineru.
Shugo Asano and Timothy Clark, The Passionate Art of Kitagawa Utamaro, 1995, text, p. 113 (on series)
Gina Collia-Suzuki, The Complete Woodblock Prints of Kitagawa Utamaro, A Descriptive Catalogue, 2009, pp. 294-295, illus. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Spaulding Collection, accession no. 21.6522
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