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signed Ichiyosai Toyokuni ga with red Toshidama seal, censor’s seal Watarai, followed by the publisher’s seal Sanoki (Sanoya Kihei of Kikakudo), ca. 1845
oban tate-e 14 1/4 by 10 in., 36.1 by 25.3 cm
An elegantly dressed geisha holds a five-stringed musical instrument that appears to be a biwa with an unsually rounded body.
After issuing the 37th design in this series (except no. 47) of 100 poet prints, Kunisada changed the framework of the compositions by eliminating the series title and replacing the poem cards with a cartouche in the shape of an open book illustrating the featured poet and poem, on this print the portrait is of Daini no Sanmi (Katako, the daughter of Murasaki Shikibu, the author of The Tale of Genji) paired with her poem number 58 from the Hyakunin isshu.
ina no sasahara
ide soyo hito wo
wasure ya ha suru
When the wind blows
through the bamboo-grass field of Ina
near Arima Mountain
soyo- so it is:
how could I forget you?
Joshua S. Mostow, The Hundred Poets Compared, 2007, p. 150, no. 58 (poem translation)