Heavy, The Appearance of a Fukagawa Waitress in the Tempo Era

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892

Thirty-Two Aspects of Customs and Manners: Heavy, The Appearance of a Fukagawa Waitress in the Tempo Era [1830-1844]
(Fuzoku sanjuniso: omotaso tempo nenkan fukagawa karuko no fuzoku)

signed Yoshitoshi ga, with artist's seal Taiso, carver's seal Wada hori Yu, and publisher's date and address seal Meiji nijuichinen, jugatsu, shika; Tokyo Nihonbashi Bakurocho Nichome 14-banchi, Tsunajima Kamekichi (Meiji 21 [1888], October 4) of Tsujiokaya Kamekichi of Kinkido

oban tate-e 14 1/2 by 10 in., 36.7 by 25.5 cm

A waitress is of modest standing in the pleasure district hierarchy. However, this sushi waitress in Fukagawa is working during an early peak in Edo restaurant culture. While restaurants themselves had only hit the Edo scene in the late 18th century, sushi shops in particular were an even more recent phenomenon in Tokyo. The small, bite-sized offerings had only come into vogue during the recent Bunsei Period (1818-1830), and were still something of a novelty during the following Tenpo era this print is meant to visualize.

References:
Keyes 1983, p. 483, no. 503.25
Segi 1985, p. 93, no. 103.12
van den Ing & Schaap 1992, p. 140, no. 63.12
Stevenson 1995, no. 12
Nishiyama 1997, pp. 169-173
Akita Museum of Modern Art 1999, p. 46, no. 193
Ota Memorial Museum of Art 2009, p. 12, no. 1.12

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