Dawn in the licensed quarters, from the series One hundred famous views of Edo
1797 - 1858
The licensed Yoshiwara pleasure quarters of Edo (Tokyo) bustled at night, but at daybreak it was time for friends and lovers to part. With the sun rising behind them, the figures in this print are framed by the Omon Gate, the Yoshiwara’s single point of entry and exit. The man departing has his head covered for the journey and the tall black clogs (geta) of the woman in red behind him identify her as a high-ranking courtesan. This print is from the renowned artist Hiroshige’s final series, One hundred famous views of Edo (1856–58).
Yoshiwara, early morning
Meisho Edo hyakkei: kakuchû shinonome
Place where the work was made
woodblock print; ink and colour on paper
34.1 x 22.5 cm image; 35.5 x 24.5 cm sheet
Signature & date
Signed l.l., in Japanese, ink, incised on block "Hiroshige ga" [picture by Hiroshige]. Not dated.
Where the work was made
Shown in 6 exhibitions
Purchases and Acquisitions for 1961, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Apr 1962–25 May 1962
Japanese Woodcuts, Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle, 28 Jun 1968–28 Jul 1968
The Floating World: Japan's World of transient pleasures, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 May 1994–17 Jul 1994
Referenced in 3 publications
AJIOKA Chiaki (Curator), Heroes and villains: from Japan's floating world, Sydney, May 2001, 7. cat.no. 3.5
Gary Hickey, Beauty & desire in Edo period Japan, 'Pleasure Town', pg. 25-36, Parkes, 1998, 24 (colour illus.), 25, 70. fig.no. 17. In this publication this work is titled 'Kakuchû shinonome [Dawn in the licenced quarters]'.
Jackie Menzies, The Floating World: Japan's world of transient pleasures, Sydney, 1994. cat.no. C12