- Museum number
Colour woodblock-printed diptych. Party in Shikian restaurant on Nakazu island overlooking Sumida River; with sake, fish and shamisen; storehouses of Fukagawa on opposite bank. Signed, sealed, marked and inscribed.
- Production date
- 1787-1788 (c.)
Height: 36.30 centimetres (each)
Width: 25.30 centimetres (each)
- Curator's comments
This famous two-storey restaurant was on Nakazu, an artificial island in the Sumida River in Edo (Tokyo) which was later destroyed. A lucky 'tai' fish is being served. On the opposite bank can be seen the storehouses of Fukagawa. The print is signed 'Painted by Kubo Shumman'.
Smith et al 1990
Shikian ('Four Seasons') restaurant was among the most fashionable and exclusive in Edo, doubtless due to its prime riverside location on the corner of the Nakazu entertainment district, a small area of reclaimed land projecting from the banks of the Sumida River. Every evening in summer the river off Nakazu would be clogged with a flotilla of pleasure boats and barges assembled to enjoy the firework displays, vaudeville theatre, fine restaurants and unlicensed brothels there.
Here Shumman takes an unusual oblique view across the corner of the Shikian so that he can take in both the lively party scene and the river behind, with views of Fukagawa on the far bank. The poses of the figures all suggest relaxed intimacy: a couple holding hands as he leans on the pillar; the other seated couple playing a hand game; the pair of geisha tuning up their 'shamisen'; the waitress bringing in another tray laden with raw fish. The colours of the print are still wonderfully vivid, with only the pale blue used for the water having faded.
Ueno Royal Museum (Ueno no Mori Bijutsukan), 'Daiei Hakubutsukan shozo ukiyo-e meisakuten', ed. Narazaki Muneshige, Tokyo, 1985, no. 110.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Registration number