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Between and Mortarboard

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Courtesan Tasting a Morning-glory Bud

Accession Number

Courtesan Tasting a Morning-glory Bud

Isoda Koryûsai

Object Creation Date
early 1770

Medium & Support
Pillar-format full-color woodblock print (hashira e nishiki e)

27 5/16 in x 4 7/8 in (69.37 cm x 12.38 cm)

Credit Line
Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker

Label copy
Isoda Koryûsai was a younger contemporary of Harunobu, and his earliest prints are very much in the elder master’s style. After Harunobu’s death in 1770, Koryûsai gradually moved toward his own idiom and a more substantial female type. In this pillar print he fills the tall and narrow format with the figure of a young woman and a planter of morning glories. She brings a morning-glory bud to her mouth, to taste its sweet nectar—something children in Japan still do today. The action is presented here with unmistakably erotic overtones: the woman is identified as a courtesan by the fact that her obi is tied in the front, and her stance reveals much more leg than a proper young lady would allow.
M. Graybill
"Courtesans, Cross-Dressers, and the Girl Next Door Images of the Feminine in Japanese Popular Prints"
3/9 - 9/1/02

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
color print

Collection Area

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ukiyo e

2 Related Resources

Japan Pax Tokugawa 1600-1868
(Part of: Empires and Colonialism)
(Part of 5 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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