N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1890
Condition: very good
Size: 36 x 24,5 cm



Elegant polychrome woodblock print of large horizontal format dedicated to the month of August (八月) and taken from the series “Twelve Months of the Floating World” (浮世十二ヶ月) by the artist Ogata Gekko (尾形月耕). A charming oiran (花魁), sitting under a willow tree, enjoys the cool of the evening, while her little kamuro (禿) assistant plays with two puppies.

In Japanese history and culture the oiran were figures similar to courtesans and were considered yujo (遊女), or “women of pleasure”, but their social status was very different from that of the ordinary yujo: the oiran were in fact entertainers rather than prostitutes and many of them were so popular that they became celebrities even outside the pleasure districts.

The print on Japanese washi paper (和紙), produced in 1890 by the publisher Yokoyama Ryohachi (横山良八), despite the right patina of time is in very good general condition.