A Courtesan’s Day

“Each [artist] demonstrates the use of the hours of the day as a convenient trope for Japanese print artists in their creation of sets the portray bijin (‘beautiful women’) engaged in diurnal activities. These bijin range from courtesans of the renown[ed] Yoshiwara pleasure quarter, to geisha from the less celebrated Shinbashi and Yanagibashi districts, and on to women from seemingly various walks of life. (Seigle, back cover) ”

The VRC has cataloged 16 images from A Courtesan’s Day: hour by hour. These are available in the Digital Image Database. Accessible for the SCAD community with a MySCAD log-in.

Images clockwise from upper left:

Kitagawa Utamaro. Hour of the Tiger. (c.1794). Woodblock print. Musees Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, Brussells, Belgium.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi. 5 p.m. (Gogo goji). (1880). Woodblock print. Japan Ukiyo-e Museum, Matsumoto, Japan.

Toyohara Kunichika. 4 a.m. (Gozen yoji). (1890). Woodblock print. private collection.

Toyohara Kunichika. 6 p.m. (Gogo rokuji). (1890). Woodblock print. private collection.

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