Collections: Asian Art: Oumayagashi, No. 105 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

On View: Tetrapod Bowl with Lid

Ancient Maya art often refers to the structure of the universe, conceived as three vertical levels: the celestial upper world of supernatura...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

    On View: Side Chair

    The shield-back chair, illustrated in English pattern books by George Hepplewhite and Thomas Sheraton, became one of the most popular Americ...

     

    Login to play

    Login with Google ID

    Forgot your password?

    Not a Posse member? Register

    Brooklyn Museum Posse:
    Exploring the collection

    When you join the posse, your tags comments and favorites will display with your attribution and save to your profile.

    Want to add this object to a set? Please join the Posse, or log in.

    close

    39.581_SL1.jpg 39.581_bw_IMLS.jpg

    Oumayagashi, No. 105 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

    It is a murky winter night as the Oumayagashi ferry approaches its landing on the west bank of the Sumida River. The two figures in the bow of the ferry are yotaka, "night hawks"—the lowest class of prostitutes in Edo. This image is the closest Hiroshige ever attained to depicting the vicissitudes of the life of Edo's lower class, and he did so in a manner calculated not to offend. The faces, for example, are shown as amusing caricatures of the thick lips and pug noses for which yotaka were known. In fact, many such women were disfigured by disease, which led them to hide under the sort of thick make-up we see here. The yotaka suffered a brutal life, and their painful existence was long associated in Japanese art and literature with the cold of winter.

    • Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando), Japanese, 1797-1858
    • Medium: Woodblock print
    • Place Made: Japan
    • Dates: 12th month of 1857
    • Period: Edo Period, Ansei Era
    • Dimensions: 14 1/16 x 9 1/2in. (35.7 x 24.1cm) Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm) Image: 13 3/8 x 8 3/4 in. (34 x 22.2 cm)  (show scale)
    • Markings: Publisher: Shitaya Uo Ei. Date and censor seals at top margin.
    • Signature: Hiroshige-ga
    • Collections:Asian Art
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: 39.581
    • Credit Line: Frank L. Babbott Fund
    • Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
    • Caption: Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Oumayagashi, No. 105 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 12th month of 1857. Woodblock print, 14 1/16 x 9 1/2in. (35.7 x 24.1cm). Brooklyn Museum, Frank L. Babbott Fund, 39.581
    • Image: overall, 39.581_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    • Catalogue Description: A scene of the Oumayagashi ferry at the west bank of the Sumida River. There is an overprinting of yellow-green on the shore and at right the leaves of an evergreen oak and the grass below reflect an eerie green glow against this somber background. The two women in the bow of the ferry are yotaka ("night hawks"), the lowest class of street prostitute in Edo, on their way to work. In Hiroshige's time, yotaka had fixed places of operation, most often in lumber-storage sheds or in makeshift stalls that merchants used during the day. Their faces are shown with the thick lips and pug noses for which they were known. Many were disfigured by disease which they would hide with thick make-up. They lived in hovels along back canals in the Honjo district and catered to drunken tradesmen and violence-prone samurai underlings. Oumayagashi means "horse stable landing," after the shogunal stables that were located here until the 1690's. The Oumayagashi ferry was replaced in 1874 by Umaya Bridge, which was rebuilt in 1893 a short distance from its present location.
    • Record Completeness: Best (88%)
    advanced 106,538 records currently online.

    Separate each tag with a space: painting portrait.

    Or join words together in one tag by using double quotes: "Brooklyn Museum."


    Tags by Posse members
    • j_dorado (7)
      • nature
      • flora
      • harmony
      • calmness
      • meditative
      • minimal
      • fauna
    • artsl (1)
      • 19th Century
    • Axelle (4)
      • geishas
      • courtesans
      • prostitutes
      • winter
    • RajArumugam (3)
      • Oumayagashi
      • Hiroshige
      • yotaka
    • pierre (7)
      • print
      • japanese
      • lake
      • tree
      • river
      • landscape
      • blue
    • ninakuriloff (7)
      • trees
      • landscape
      • water
      • sky
      • woodblock print
      • 12th month of 1857
      • Edo Period, Ansei Era
    Recent Comments
    11:54 02/5/2011
    song of the yotaka

    the gentle day
    Sirs
    gives way to sweet night
    and we come to give swift pleasures
    Sirs
    and the coins you may offer
    keeps our bodies
    but the pleasures we offer
    Sirs
    the nights we give to you
    disfigure us, distort us day and night
    Sirs
    your Pleasures are our pain
    for us the plain and painted yotaka



    Please review the comment guidelines before posting.

    Before you comment...

    We get a lot of comments, so before you post yours, check to see if your issue is addressed by one of the questions below. Click on a question to see our answer:

    Why are some objects not on view?

    The Museum’s permanent collections are very large and only a fraction of these can be on exhibition at any given time. Sometimes works are lent to other museums for special exhibitions; sometimes they are in the conservation laboratory for study or maintenance. Certain types of objects, such as watercolors, textiles, and photographs, are sensitive to light and begin to fade if they are exposed for too long, so their exhibition time is limited. Finally, as large as the Museum is, there is not enough room to display everything in the collections. In order to present our best works, collections are rotated periodically.

    How do I find out how much an object in the Brooklyn Museum collections is worth?

    The Museum does not disclose the monetary values of objects in its collections.

    Can you tell me the value of an artwork that I own?

    The Museum does not provide monetary appraisals. To determine the value of an object or to find an appraiser, you may contact the Art Dealers Association of America or the American Society of Appraisers.

    I own a similar object. Can you tell me more about it?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you own and as much information about it as you can, and we will provide any additional information we are able to find. Please note that research in our files is a lengthy process, and you may not have a response for some time.

    How would I go about lending or gifting a work to the Museum or seeing if the Museum is interested in purchasing a work that I own?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you would like us to consider, as well as all of the information you have about it, and your offer will be forwarded to the appropriate curator. The Brooklyn Museum collections are very rich, and we have many works that are not currently on exhibition; because of this, and because storage space is limited, we are very selective about adding works. However, the collection has become what it is today through the generosity of the public, and we continue to be grateful for this generosity, which can still lead to exciting new acquisitions.

    How can I get a reproduction of a work in your collection?

    Please see the Museum’s information on Image Services.

    How can I show my work to someone at the Museum or be considered for an exhibition?

    Please see the Museum’s Artist Submission Guidelines.

    Why do many objects not have photographs and/or complete descriptions?

    The Museum's collection is very large, and we are constantly in the process of adding photographs and descriptions to works that do not currently have them, or replacing photographs that have deteriorated beyond use and descriptions that are minimal or out of date. This is a long and expensive process that takes time.

    How can I find a conservator or get advice on how to treat my artwork?

    Please visit the American Institute for Conservation, which has a feature on how to find a conservator.

    I have a comment or question which is not included in this list.

    Join the posse or log in to work with our collections. Your tags, comments and favorites will display with your attribution.