THE FISHMONGER’S WIFE (Utagawa Yoshiiku)

N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Year: 1875
Condition: good
Size: 23,5 x 35 cm



The sad news story, which we see depicted in this original 19th century woodblock print, has the fishmonger Ashina Yasujiro (芦名安次郎) as its protagonist. The man is portrayed while, at dawn, is attempting suicide next to his wife Owaka (おわか) who, driven by the couple’s miserable economic condition, had been forced to return to work as a prostitute at the Tsurumoto (鶴本) pleasure house in the Yoshiwara (吉原) district.

The print presented here is the illustration of the issue number 984 (九百八十四号) of the newspaper Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shinbun (東京日々新聞), made by Utagawa Yoshiiku (歌川芳幾), the famous artist also known as Ochiai Yoshiiku (落合芳幾).

The work, produced in April 1875 by the publisher Gusokuya Kahei (具足屋嘉兵衛) and by the engraver Watanabe Horiei (渡辺彫栄), despite the presence of a central vertical fold mark is in overall good condition, thanks also to a thick relining carried out on the back.