Frozen, The Appearance of a Fukagawa Nakamachi geisha of the Tempo era

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892

Thirty-Two Aspects of Customs and Manners: Frozen, The Appearance of a Fukagawa Nakamachi geisha of the Tempo era [1830-1844]
(Fuzoku sanjuniso: samuso tempo nenkan fukagawa nakamachi geisha fuzoku)

signed Yoshitoshi ga, with artist's seal Taiso, carver's seal Wada to, and publisher's date and address seal Meiji nijuichinen, nigatsu, nijugoka; [Tokyo Nihonbashi Bakurocho Nichome] 14-banchi, shuppanjin Tsunajima Kamekichi (Meiji 21 [1888], February 25) of Tsujiokaya Kamekichi of Kinkido

oban tate-e 14 3/4 by 10 in., 37.4 by 25.5 cm

With the opening of the Fukagawa pleasure district, Edokko (Eddoites) had access to a new unlicensed environment in which to seek out entertainment that was far more relaxed than the traditional and more strictly regulated Yoshiwara district. Within Fukagawa, it was the courtesans of the Nakamachi ward who were the most highly regarded. They were renowned for their chic sophistication and lively charisma, as is personified by this rambunctious beauty playfully brandishing her umbrella.

To depict the effect of snow piling up in the indentations of the umbrella, the carver used an uncommon printing technique called itabokashi (block gradation). By sloping the edge of the block, the carver could more delicately show the gradation of colors amidst the driving snow.

References:
Keyes 1983, p. 481, no. 503.4
Segi 1985, p. 92, no. 103.11
van den Ing & Schaap 1992, p. 85, no. 63.11
Stevenson 1995, no. 11
Akita Museum of Modern Art 1999, p. 45, no. 184
Ota Memorial Museum of Art 2009, p. 12, no. 1.11
Newland & Uhlenbeck 2011, p. 143, no. 108

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