Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) / Toyokuni III (三代豊国)

Print: Serving Girl from a Teahouse: Ryōgoku (Ryōgoku chaya musume - 両国茶屋娘) from the series Edo Meisho (Famous Places of Edo - 江戸名所)

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Dates: created,circa 1824
Dimensions: 4.875 in,7.5 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: ōju (by special request) Kunisada ga

Related links: Lyon (others in this series);Mead Art Museum, Amherst;

Physical description:

"The background... features a view of Ryōgoku Bridge and bridgehead, with shop signs lining the eastern shore of the Sumida River. Packed with small restaurants, eating stalls, teahouses, sideshows, theaters and souvenir shops, this area developed one of the liveliest districts of the city. The serving girl from a local establishment, bearing food on a boxlike tray, wears a simple robe woven with a pattern of swastikas and large flowers; its silk lining has a designed of cherry blossoms and cracked ice. Her obi is decorated with stylized bats, and her purple striped apron is tied with a red sash."

Quoted from: Kunisada's World by Sebastian Izzard, p. 92.


The notes discussing another example of this print found in the Mead Art Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts state: "This sheet is part of a series of eight known designs; it is possible that there are an additional four designs that have yet to be identified, as a series of twelve sheets, to correspond with the twelve months, would not have been uncommon. This sheet and the other seven from the series are in the Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstasammlungen, Dresden (acc. no. 1993-39–1993-46). While this sheet does not bear the mark of the censor or that of the publisher, other designs from the series are sealed, implying that the panels were printed on a larger sheet before being inspected, approved, sealed, and then finally separated. The entire series is characterized by the elaborate designs of the backgrounds and of the kimonos of the beauties."