Onna manyô keiko sôshi, vol.1 (incomplete)
1671 - 1750
Nishikawa Sukenobu is considered the greatest early 'kamigata' (Kyoto-Osaka area as against Edo) 'ukiyo-e' artist, whose influence reached Edo, the main stage of the 'ukiyo-e' school. He had studied both the Kano and Tosa schools before developing his own 'ukiyo-e' in which, unlike the two ruling-class forms, he focuses on the ordinary people and their lives with 'equal enthusiasm for that of an empress' (Chibbett, 1977, 139).
'Onna manyo keiko soshi' is a text book for letters at specific occasions for women in samurai households, written by a scribe working for twenty years. The text examples are laid out for use throughout the year, beginning from New Year's greetings to the end-of-the-year addresses. They also include those for special occasions such as sympathy letters for illness, death, fire and so on. Three examples are given for each occasion: a letter to a higher-ranking person, to an equal, and to a lower, indicated by symbols of cherry blossoms, maple leaf and bamboo leaves respectively.
Both volumes together include five illustrations by the artist: one double-page and two single-page illustrations in vol.1; two single-page in vol.3. They are lively depictions of women in everyday activities that correspond to some of the occasions included in the text.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, 2002.
Illustrated book of women's writing lessons
Place where the work was made
woodblock printed books
26.0 x 18.3 x 0.8 cm
Signature & date
Dated l.r., cover "Kyôho 13 /1728". Not signed.
Gift of James Richardson 2002
Not on display