Beauties of the East as Reflected in Fashions
Edo period (1615–1868)
Color woodblock print on paper
Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker, 1948/1.159
This print belongs to a series depicting the leisure activities of fashionable denizens of Edo (modern-day Tokyo). Inside the precincts of a shrine in the first lunar month of the year, two young women, probably from wealthy merchant families, pause before a vendor selling potted plants. These include plum trees and adonis (fukujuso ̄), the Japanese name of
which contains the words happiness (fuku) and longevity (ju). The elegant combinations of the womens’ kimono, under- kimono, and obi show their sophisticated taste. The young vendor, his hair blowing in the gentle breeze, is equally attractive—a further delight to the eye. Behind the women, a boy looks in dismay at the broken thong of his slipper, adding a comic element to the scene.