Utagawa Kunisada THE HARVEST OF LEISURE

THE HARVEST OF LEISURE (Utagawa Kunisada)

Original large format woodblock print made around 1844 by the artist Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞) and taken from the series “Moral Instructions Grown in a Hedge” (教訓植附垣根ノ中). The work, depicting a bijin (美人) beauty while reading crouched next to an andon (行灯) lamp, is entitled “Kenko no Tsurezuregusa” (兼好のつれづれ草), a reference to the famous collection of essays “The Harvest of Leisure” written by the Buddhist monk Yoshida Kenko (吉田兼好), the most important writer of the Kamakura period (鎌倉時代).

The print, signed with the pseudonym Kochoro Toyokuni (香蝶楼豊国) and decorated in the upper left corner with an insert of lilies, is taken from a volume entitled “Shunseki Bijo no Yugaeri” (春夕美女の湯かゑり), ie “Beautiful Women Returning from the Bath on a Spring Night”.

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