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Group of actors in street attire visiting a tea house overlooking the Benten Shrine at Shinobazu Pond in Ueno

Identifier: 1810c Kuniyasu visit tea

Shinobazu Pond

"...Shinobazu Pond in Ueno, is an area that was famous in Edo for its scenic beauty and that in the eighteenth century also happened to be a center of scholarly and literary publishing and print culture. The neighborhood was also known for its many established pharmacies and shops selling trend-setting handicraft items and for numerous "meet up" teahouses where clients could connect with prostitutes. [The two women in this print appear to be married by the way they are wearing their obi.] It was thus an area in which the cultured and the bawdy mingled..."

Quoted from: The Akita Ranga School and The Cultural Context in Edo Japan by Imahashi Riko, pp. 23-24.

The fellow in the back of the group, on the right, is probably Bandō Hikasaburō, while the figure on the far left is probably Nakamura Utaemon III.


To show to you the popularity of this particular spot, geographically, all you have to do is look at the other three prints in the Lyon Collection, by different artists, of basically this same perspective. The first one is by Shunchō from 1787, #1323. The second one is a diptych by Sadatora from the 1830s, #1082. The third one is by Toyokuni II also from the 1830s, #607.

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