Katsukawa Shunsho / Yagurashita no Bansho (Evening Bell at Yagurashita) / c. 1771Katsukawa Shunsho
Yagurashita no Bansho (Evening Bell at Yagurashita)
c. 1771

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Creator Name: Katsukawa, Shunsho
Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Japanese
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: Japanese; 1726-1792 Asia,East Asia,Japan
Creator Active Place: Asia,East Asia,Japan
Creator Name-CRT: Katsukawa Shunsho
Title: Yagurashita no Bansho (Evening Bell at Yagurashita)
Title Type: preferred
Title: Courtesan and her attendant at the Yagurashita unlicensed pleasure district in Fukagawa
Title Type: alternate
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1766
Creation End Date: 1776
Creation Date: c. 1771
Creation Place: Asia,East Asia,Japan
Object Type: Prints
Classification Term: Woodblock
Materials and Techniques: Woodblock print.
Dimensions: Chu?ban; 25.2 x 19.0 cm
Inscriptions: SIGNATURE: Katsukawa Shunsho ga
AMICA Contributor: The Art Institute of Chicago
Owner Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
ID Number: 1961.118
Credit Line: The Art Institute of Chicago, Frederick W. Gookin Collection
Rights: http://www.artic.edu/aic/rights/main.rights.html
Context: In the Fukagawa district, on the east bank of the Sumida River, were located many of the thriving 'unlicensed' pleasure quarters (okabasho) of the city of Edo. Unlicensed districts, which had grown up during the eighteenth century, provided a cheaper, more down-to-earth harlotry than the elaborate courting rituals that were de rigueur at Yoshiwara, Edo's single licensed district. This series of eight prints shows women of Fukagawa along with small distant views of well-known landmarks of the district, parodying the famous 'Eight Views of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers' or 'Eight Views of Lake Biwa' (themes of classical Chinese and Japanese painting , respectively).One of the Eight Views of Lake Biwa, 'Evening Bell at Mii-dera' (Mii Temple), provides the pretext for this view of Yagurashita (literally, 'Under the Tower'), named after the fire watchtower with its warning bell at the top. At the foot of the tower begins a canal, Abura-bori, beyond which are the buildings of the block known as Susotsugi, one of the 'Seven Pleasure Districts of Fukagawa. Behind this district the wooded temple precincts of Eitai-ji can just be seen. Thus the women shown in the foreground perhaps work out of the Susotsugi district.The Fukagawa unlicensed brothels were dubbed 'childhouses' (kodomoya), and operated according to the 'summoning' (yobidashi) system, whereby the women were called out to entertain at particular restaurants and riverside hostelries (funayado). The building behind the courtesan and her attendant- with a verandah overlooking a small garden containing a white plum tree- may thus be either the brothel where the woman lives or the establishment where she has gone to entertain.The petite, delicate figures show the strong influence of the recently deceased Suzuki Harunobu (ca. 1724-1770), though the faces are unmistakably in Shunsho style, suggesting a date for the series of about 1771.
AMICA ID: AIC_.1961.118
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Art Institute of Chicago, 1998

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