EISEN, Keisai (1790-1848). Kakegawa: Fumiyama of the Kurataya.
Original woodblock, from the series "A Tokaido Board Game of Courtesans: Fifty-three Pairings in the Yoshiwara (Keisei dôchû sugoroku)," published by Tsutaya Kichizo, printed in Japan, c.1823. 380 x 250 mm.
"This print represents a courtesan elegantly seated playing a koto. The koto import from China in the 18th Century has long been a favourite instrument in Japanese music and is a symbol of refinement. Mainly played by court ladies and celebrated in classical literature, during the Edo period (1600-1868) it started spreading to the merchant classes. Maintaining nevertheless an aura of sophistication and charm the koto came to be played by a wider range of individuals. The courtesan Fumiyama is playing the koto and maybe thinking about Kakegawa area. Kakegawa city is only one station away from Hamamatsu by Shinkansen (bullet train) and you can see the great castle close from the station like Hamamatsu city. Kakegawa Castle was called one of the best castles in Tokai region and the castle town around that has many historical buildings left from the old days. You can feel the good old days of Japan when you take an unhurried walk around the quiet castle town away from the bustle."