Artist: Hosoda Eishi (細田栄之)

Print: Kisegawa of the Matsubaya House (松葉屋喜瀬川) from the series Six Beautiful Flowers of the Gay Quarters (Chaya Bijin Rokkasen - 青楼美人六歌仙)

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Dates: circa 1795,created
Dimensions: 10.5 in,14.875 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Eishi zu (栄之図)
Publisher: Nishimuraya Yohachi
(Marks 391 - seal 23-016)
Censor's seal: kiwame

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; British Museum; Honolulu Museum of Art; Ritsumeikan University - in black and white;

Physical description:

The following is quoted from the curatorial information provided by the Honolulu Museum of Art:

Kisegawa was a high-ranking courtesan who worked for the Matsuba-ya brothel house, She is viewing a handscroll painting of the Tales of Ise in her private room. As a rule, the people of Edo aspired after the elegance of their classic past. As one of the “six flowers” (rokkasen), this beauty from the gay quarters affects to be one of the six classic poets (rokkasen). (Tadashi Kobayashi, “Edo Beauties in Ukiyo-e”, 1994)


Kisegawa of Matsubaya must have been quite a beauty. She was portrayed by a number of different artists including Shunchō, Eishi - in more than one print composition, Eisui, Eishō, Utamaro - in more than one print and Toyokuni I.

Edmond de Goncourt in his 1891 book on Utamaro noted that this artist had portrayed Kisegawa a number of times. This prompted him to ask "Might this Kisegawa of Matsubaya, very often depicted by Utamaro, have been a favorite of the artist?"