<i>Mitate</i> of a daimyō procession [大名行列] along the bank of the Sumida River (隅田川) for cherry blossom viewing (花見)

Keisai Eisen (渓斎英泉) (artist 1790 – 1848)

Mitate of a daimyō procession [大名行列] along the bank of the Sumida River (隅田川) for cherry blossom viewing (花見)

Print


ca 1820
30.75 in x 15.25 in (Overall dimensions) Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Keisai Eisen ga (渓斎英泉画)
Toyokuni I daimyo mitate (Lyon Collection)
Kunisada daimyo mitate (Lyon Collection)
Mead Art Museum, Amherst
Van Gogh Museum - center panel only - dated ca. 1830

Two of the women toward the front of the procession are carrying keyari (毛槍) or feather-topped, ceremonial spears.

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Daimyō's processions - In an effort to maintain control over all of the various lords of Japanese fiefdoms, the Tokugawa shogunate required that each daimyō maintain a residence in Edo (the shogun's capital). Each daimyō had to leave important family members including wives and sons in Edo and make an extended visit every other year. This involved great effort and expense on the part of these local rulers and each tried to outdo their peers in pomp and regalia.

While the processions may have impressed other daimyōs and people along the route, they effectively disrupted the lords' ability to rule their own properties and upset their financial stability to such an extent that the central controls instituted by the Tokugawa regime were strengthened.

This particular example by Eisen is only one of many in which women were portrayed fancifully as replacements for a daimyō's true retinue of retainers. There are two other such examples of multi-panel groupings in the Lyon Collection (see related links above).


mitate-e (見立て絵) (genre)
beautiful women (bijin-ga - 美人画) (genre)
Historical - Social - Ephemera (genre)