Skip to content


An image of Looking smoky - appearances of the housewife of the Kyôwa era by Tsukioka YOSHITOSHI


(Japan 1839 – 1892)

Looking smoky - appearances of the housewife of the Kyôwa era
Other titles:
Looking smoky: the appearance of a housewife of the Kyowa era
Alternative title:
Fûzoku sanjû-ni sô: Kemusô: Kyôwa nenkan naishitsu no fûzoku
Place of origin
Meiji period 1868 - 1912 → Japan
19 May 1888
Media category
Materials used
colour woodcut

36.7 x 24.0 cm

Signature & date
Signed l.l., in Japanese, ink [incised on block] "Yoshitoshi [and artist's seal]." Not dated.
Purchased 1991
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

In terms of the centuries-old 'ukiyo-e' tradition, the period from the mid to the end of the nineteenth century is considered the decadent period', since the prints are often characterised by crude and violent subjects, by harshness rather than delicacy, and by gaudy synthetic colours rather than the delicate vegetable dyes of earlier prints. Although Yoshitoshi's works fall within the 'decadent' category, he was perhaps the most creative of his contemporaries and capable of subtle, graceful compositions as exemplified in this beautiful print which shows a middle-class woman fanning a fire. The print belongs to the series 'Thirty-two aspects of customs and manners', which depicts typical moments in the daily lives of women of different social classes during the previous one hundred years.

Art Gallery Handbook, 1999. pg. 284.

Bibliography (6)

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Asian Collection: East Asia', pg. 246-287, Sydney, 1999, 244 (colour illus.), 284 (colour illus.). The image appearing on pg. 244 is in detail.

Ann Macarthur, Inspirations - Art ideas for primary and middle years, Carlton South, 2004, cover (colour illus.), 12 (colour illus.). card 12

Jackie Menzies, The Floating World: Japan's world of transient pleasures, Sydney, 1994, not paginated. (colour illus.). M32

SEGI Shin'ichi, Yoshitoshi: The Splendid Decadent, Tokyo, 1985, 94 (colour illus.). fig. no. 56

John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi's Women, United States of America, 1986. plate no. 6

Eric van den Ing, Robert Schaap and John Stevenson, Beauty & Violence: Japanese Prints by Yoshitoshi 1839-1892, Netherlands, 1992, 139 (illus.). cat. no. 63.6

Exhibition history (2)

The Floating World: Japan's World of transient pleasures, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 May 1994–17 Jul 1994

Beauty and Desire in Edo period Japan, National Gallery of Australia, Parkes, 06 Jun 1998–09 Aug 1998