Utagawa Sadafusa (歌川貞房) (artist )
The Ninth Month: A famous saké brand from the series Brands of Saké for the Five Festivals (Fūryū Sakaya Gosekku - 風流酒屋五節句)
10.25 in x 15 in (Overall dimensions) Japanese woodblock print
Signed: Gokitei Sadafusa ga
Publisher: Moriya Jihei (Marks 353 - seal 01-079)
Kumon's Museum of Children's Ukiyo-e - another example from this series
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - a fresher example of the one in the Kumon's Museum of Children's Ukiyo-e
The brand of saké (酒) being promoted here is shown on the label of the jug to the left of the woman. We are still trying to read the label to give the full name of the product. This print is for the last of the five festivals or gosekku and now takes place on September 9th. The ninth month is referred to as kikuzuki (掬月).
Woman holding a baby in front of the Tamagawa (玉川) saké shop, famous for chrysanthemum saké.
Clearly there are 5 prints in this series, each showing a beautiful woman and a child, an identifying banner or noren and a bottle of saké with a label on it indicating the brand. The name, Tamagawa, appears on the writing to the woman's right, our left. We only know of one other example from this series. It is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and represents the 5th month and the Boy's Festival. That one promotes "The Iris Everywhere Brand Saké" or Yomo no shōbu sake.
There is evidence that another copy of this print was shown in an exhibition at Chiba City.
There are a couple of other design motifs unique to this print from the Lyon Collection which are worth noting. The most obvious is the chrysanthemum (kiku) and the dragonfly, (tombo) which the child is reaching toward. The tombo is a symbol of Japan. A close examination of the woman's black obi shows a stylized turtle motif swimming in a current of waves. Her kanzashi or elaborate hairpin, visible near the child's upper thigh, shows a long-tailed turtle or minogame, a symbol of longevity.