The Courtesans Usugomo, Haruka, and Yayoi of the Tamaya Teahouse
Color woodblock print on paper
Other (Sheet): 15 3/8 x 10 7/8 in. (39.1 x 27.6 cm)
Other (Image): 14 9/16 x 10 1/4 in. (37 x 26 cm) (show scale)
Publisher's seal: Sanyo-ya Kihei
Censor's seal: Kiwame
Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga
This item is not on view
Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Japanese, 1798-1861). The Courtesans Usugomo, Haruka, and Yayoi of the Tamaya Teahouse, ca. 1840. Color woodblock print on paper, Other (Sheet): 15 3/8 x 10 7/8 in. (39.1 x 27.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Anonymous gift, 76.151.16 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 76.151.16_print_IMLS_SL2.jpg)
overall, 76.151.16_print_IMLS_SL2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Can you tell me what the names Usugomo, Haruka and Yayoi mean?
These are names of famous courtesans from the Yoshiwara district in the city of Edo. Women in the Yoshiwara often chose professional names that had classical and elegant appeal. The woman portrayed here is Usugomo.
This type of print, called a "bijinga", often depicted actual woman but in such a stylized, idealized way that it would be very hard to call them portraits.