Relaxed, the appearance of a Kyoto geisha during the Kansei era

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892

Thirty-Two Aspects of Customs and Manners: Relaxed, the appearance of a Kyoto geisha during the Kansei era [1789-1801]
(Fuzoku sanjuniso: shidaranasaso kansei nenkan kyoto geiko fuzoku)

signed by Yoshitoshi ga, with artist's seal Taiso, carver's seal Wada hori Yu, and publisher's date and address seal Meiji nijuichi-toshi, ni-tsuki, nijugo-nichi; Tokyo Nihonbashi Bakurocho Nichome 14-banchi, Tsunajima Kamekichi (Meiji 21 [1888], 2nd month, 25th day) of Tsujiokaya Kamekichi of Kinkido

oban tate-e 14 3/4 by 10 in., 37.5 by 25.5 cm

Traditionally, geisha (and ranking courtesans) were expected to maintain certain standards of appearance and behavior. Their interactions with patrons were strictly regulated, including prohibitions on eating, and using crude language or rough manners in front of their clients. That this design shows a reclining geisha with her mouth open in what appears to be a giggle of satisfaction explains its subversive charm. The word 'shidaranasaso' in the title implies being relaxed in a sloppy, unbecoming, yet suggestive manner. The beauty's empty snack bowl in addition to her languid pose with her sleeve pushed up above the elbow and wrist flopped carelessly, contrasts with her fine silk robe and gold lacquer combs. Although she has proverbially let her hair down, the elaborate coiffure maintains its form.

References:
Keyes 1983, p. 481, no. 503.2
Segi 1985, p. 92, no. 103.3
van den Ing & Schaap 1992, p. 139, no. 63.2
Stevenson 1995, no. 2
Seigle 2004, p. 12
Ota Memorial Museum of Art 2009, p. 10, no. 1.2
Newland & Uhlenbeck 2011, p. 142, no. 107

$2,300

kikumon

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