N.1 abuna-e woodblock print
Year: 1800
Condition: fair
Size: 26,5 x 21,5 cm



Two important sumizuri-e (墨摺絵) monochrome illustrations made by the artist Kitagawa Utamaro (喜多川歌麿) and depicting two famous, and unfortunate, loving couples. On the left Yaoya Oshichi (八百屋お七), who for love set a fire in her parents’ house and that was therefore executed, and the young temple page Kosho Kichisaburo (小姓吉三郎). On the right, the two suicidal lovers Shinanoya Ohan (信濃屋お半), the young daughter of a Kyoto merchant, and her neighbor Obiya Choemon (帯屋長右衛門), a married man and obi (帯) sash dealer.

The two pages, produced in 1800 by the publisher Omiya Gonkuro (近江屋権九郎), owner of Shuhodo (聚宝堂), are taken from vol. 1 (上) of an erotic shunpon (春本) made by Utamaro in collaboration with the writer Shikitei Sanba (式亭三馬) and entitled “Picture Book, Secret Night Illustrations of Beautiful Women” (会本夜密図婦美).

The double-page woodblock print on Japanese washi paper (和紙), despite the signs of aging including partially restored wormholes, is in fair condition.