Keisai Eisen


A Guide to Modern Restaurants: Horaiya at Ueno Kuromonmae
(Tose ryori-tsu: Ueno Kuromonmae Horaiya)

the series title at the upper left, Tose ryori-tsu: Ueno Kuromonmae Horaiya, signed Keisai Eisen ga, with censor's seal kiwame (approved), followed by the publisher's seal Sano kichi (Sanoya Kihei, Kinkakudo), ca. 1830s

oban tate-e 15 1/8 by 10 1/4 in., 38.5 by 26.1 cm

In his role as arbiter of current fashions, Eisen presented ensembles for woman of all social classes and pursuits. Here a rather casual waitress makes an attempt to put her hair in order, while the kimono open at her neck and loosely tied obi at her waist await her attention as well. Her lilac kosode is decorated with a pattern of white and green blossoms, and her blue apron features white and dark blue pine needles with blue and rust colored maple leaves. A pink sash decorated with a white shibori (resist dyed) star pattern known as Hanshiro-kanoko (made popular by the kabuki actor Iwai Hanshiro V, 1776-1847) is tied jauntily at her hip overlapping with the black obi which is decorated with seal of the print publisher, Sano kichi han, with the proclamation, Ooatari (lit. 'big hit').

This print is from a series promoting restaurants from various neighborhoods in Edo, each depicted within a landscape cartouche framed with a decorative lacquer border. The title to her right identifies the Horaiya restaurant as located at the front of the Kuromon (black gate) at Ueno Hill, an area that belonged to the Kan'ei-ji temple complex. In the inset composition, we see a view of the shrine dedicated to the goddess Benten located on an island (Benten-jima) at the center of the Shinobazu pond in Ueno.

Chiba City Museum of Art, Keisai Eisen: Artist of the Floating World, 2012, p. 154, no. 179
(inv. no. 10-5169)

price: $2,400

Keisai Eisen


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site last updated
October 3, 2022

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475