Relaxed, the appearance of a Kyoto geisha
By Tsukioka Yoshitoshi
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Medium: woodcut/woodblock/ukiyo-e, woodblock
Edition size: n/a
Sheet size: 37.5 by 25.5 cm
Price: $2300 (excl. taxes)
From the series "Thirty-Two Aspects of Customs and Manners,"
signed by Yoshitoshi ga, with artist's seal Taiso, carver's seal Wada hori Yu, and publisher's date and address seal Meiji nijuichi-toshi, ni-tsuki, nijugo-nichi; Tokyo Nihonbashi Bakurocho Nichome 14-banchi, Tsunajima Kamekichi (Meiji 21 , 2nd month, 25th day) of Tsujiokaya Kamekichi of Kinkido
oban tate-e 14 3/4 by 10 in., 37.5 by 25.5 cm
Traditionally, geisha (and ranking courtesans) were expected to maintain certain standards of appearance and behavior. Their interactions with patrons were strictly regulated, including prohibitions on eating, and using crude language or rough manners in front of their clients. That this design shows a reclining geisha with her mouth open in what appears to be a giggle of satisfaction explains its subversive charm. The word 'shidaranasaso' in the title implies being relaxed in a sloppy, unbecoming, yet suggestive manner. The beauty's empty snack bowl in addition to her languid pose with her sleeve pushed up above the elbow and wrist flopped carelessly, contrasts with her fine silk robe and gold lacquer combs. Although she has proverbially let her hair down, the elaborate coiffure maintains its form.
Highlights of Japanese Printmaking: Part Five - Yoshitoshi, Scholten Japanese Art, New York, 2017, cat. no. 101