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Seiro ehon nenju gyoji 青楼絵本年中行事 (A Picture Book of Annual Events in Yoshiwara)

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1979,0305,0.159.1

  • Title (object)

    • Seiro ehon nenju gyoji 青楼絵本年中行事 (A Picture Book of Annual Events in Yoshiwara)
  • Description

    Illustrated book, colour woodblock-printed, Vol. 1 from a set of two volumes. Scenes of seasonal events with courtesans in Yoshiwara. Covers: Original, blue, embossed with lanterns bearing the crests of high-ranked courtesans. Title slips: Original, printed on buff slips pasted in top left corners of covers. Contents: (vol. 1) 27 leaves: 1 single title page inside front cover, 4 single pages of preface, 4 single pages of notes, 1 single-page opening illustration, 2 single pages of contents, 10 double-page illustrations, 23 single pages of text; (vol. 2) 22 leaves: 1 single-page opening illustration, 9 double-page illustrations, 22 single pages of text, 2 single pages advertising a sequel, 1 single page of publisher's colophon. Inscribed, signed and sealed.

    [JH.159, vol. 1, image 1] -
    [JH.159, vol. 1, image 2] -
    [JH.159, vol. 1, image 3] -
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    [JH.159, vol. 1, image 7] -
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    [JH.159, vol. 1, image 9] -
    [JH.159, vol. 1, image 9P] -
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    [JH.159, vol. 1, image 11] -
    [JH.159, vol. 1, image 11P] -
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    [JH.159, vol. 1, image 16P] -
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    [JH.159, vol. 1, image 18] -
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    [JH.159, vol. 1, image 30] -
    [JH.159, vol. 1, image 31] -

    More 

  • Producer name

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1804 (spring)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 22.7 centimetres
    • Width: 15.9 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        title page
      • Inscription Language

        Japanese
      • Inscription Content

        青楼年中行事 全部二巻 十返舎一九著 喜多川歌麿画
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Seiro ehon nenju gyoji, zenbu nikan, Jip-pensha Ikku cho, Kitagawa Utamaro ga
      • Inscription Translation

        Yoshiwara Picture Book: Annual Events, Two Volumes Complete, Text by Jippensha Ikku, Illustrations by Utamaro
      • Inscription Type

        signature and date
      • Inscription Position

        vol. 1, preface
      • Inscription Language

        Japanese
      • Inscription Content

        干時享和四甲子蒼陽日
        千首楼識
      • Inscription Translation

        Spring 1804
        Senshuro
      • Inscription Type

        seal
      • Inscription Position

        vol. 1, preface
      • Inscription Content

        堅丸
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Katamaru
      • Inscription Comment

        [Emblem of peach.]
      • Inscription Type

        signature
      • Inscription Language

        Japanese
      • Inscription Content

        江戸絵師 喜多川舎 紫屋歌麿筆
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Edo eshi Kitagawa sha Murasak-iya Utamaro hitsu
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        vol. 1, preface
      • Inscription Language

        Japanese
      • Inscription Content

        曲中年中行事序
        此書を年中行事の命ることは、貞治の歌合によるにもあらす、亦建武当時のまめだちたる、御作をしもしたふならす こハよき人のよしといふなる、新吉原の四ツの時、をりふしの花紅葉のあハれにおかしきさまを集て、堤のなげふし哥麿かはなやぎたる筆を、ふるへるものなり、さるは初名代の臨時客中の町の花の宴対のしきせの更衣、れんじにまつる乞巧奠、八朔の風俗はさらなり、居続の雪の見参、丸市か夜神楽まで、喜の字やか台のせて洩すことなし、文の詞は十返舎か筆にして、つらい勤の公事根源、すかぬ鼾の江次第さへ、月次の屏風ひきいでつゝ、廊下障子のあなぐりもとめて、扨ぞ突出しの新板とハなせりける、まことに人間の別世界、この春秋のゆきかひをみん人ハ養老不死の気の薬となりて、あとへとしとる心地やせられましといふ
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Kyokuchu nenju gyoji jo
        Kono fumi o nenju gyoji to yoberu koto wa, Teiji no uta-awase to yoru ni mo arazu, mata Kemmu toji no mame-dachitaru, go-saku o shi mo shitau narazu, ko wa yoki hito no yoshi to iu naru, Nii-Yoshiwara no yotsu no toki, orifushi no hana momiji no aware ni okashiki sama o atsumete, dote no nagebushi Utamaro ga hana-yagitaru fude o, furueru mono nari, saru wa hatsu-myodai no rinji-kyaku Nakanocho no hana no en tsui no shikise no koromo-gae, renji ni matsuru kiko-den, hassaku no fuzoku wa saranari, i-tsuzuke no yuki no genzan, Maruichi ga yo-kagura made, Kinojiya ga dai nosete morasu koto nashi, fumi no kotoba wa Jippensha ga fude ni shite, tsurai tsutome no Kuji kongen, sukanu ibiki no Go Shidai sae, tsuki-nami no byobu hiki-idetsutsu, roka-shoji no anaguri mo tomete, sate zo tsukidashi to shimpan to wa naserikeru, makoto ni ningen no bessekai, kono haru-aki no yuki-kai o mimbito wa yoro fushi no ki no kusuri to narite, ato e toshi-toru kokochi ya seraremaji to iu
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        vol. 2, title slip in top left corners of cover
      • Inscription Language

        Japanese
      • Inscription Content

        青楼絵本 年中行事 坤
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Seiro ehon nenju gyoji, kon
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        vol. 1, title slip in top left corners of cover
      • Inscription Language

        Japanese
      • Inscription Content

        青楼絵本 年中行事 乾
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Seiro ehon nenju gyoji, kan
      • Inscription Type

        seal
      • Inscription Script

        Japanese
      • Inscription Content

        歌麿 源氏
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Utamaro, Minamoto-shi
      • Inscription Type

        signature
      • Inscription Language

        Japanese
      • Inscription Content

        校合門人 喜久麿 秀麿 竹麿
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Kogo monjin Kikumaro, Hidemaro, Takemaro
      • Inscription Type

        signature
      • Inscription Language

        Japanese
      • Inscription Content

        彫刻 藤一宗
      • Inscription Translation

        Carving Fuji Kazumune
      • Inscription Type

        signature
      • Inscription Script

        Japanese
      • Inscription Content

        霍松堂 藤右衛門
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Jakushodo Toemon
  • Curator's comments

    Hillier and Smith 1980

    The most widely known of Utamaro's books, partly because a translation of the lively text, by the comic writer Jippensha Ikku (1765-1831), figured in Edmond de Goncourt's 'Outamaro: Le Peintre des Maisons Vertes' (Paris, 1896). The most celebrated page shows a rather idealised Utamaro decorating the interior of one of the Houses with a painting of a 'ho-o' bird, watched by admiring courtesans.

    Literature:
    Brown, Louise Norton, 'Block Printing and Book Illustration in Japan', London and New York, 1924, p. 170.
    'Livres et Albums Illustrés du Japon Réunis et Catalogués par Théodore Duret', Paris, 1900,
    no. 146.
    Goncourt, op. cit., pp. 64-95.
    Hillier, J, 'Utamaro. Colour Prints and Paintings', London, 1961 and 1979, ch. XIX.
    Odaka, Sennosuke, "Umaro ehon ko" (A Study of Utamaro's Illustrated Books), 'Ukiyoye no kenkyu', 20, vol. 5, Tokyo, 1928, no. 24.Asano and Clark 1995

    As the title indicates, a picture book showing the annual events in Yoshiwara, the single government-licensed brothel district in the city of Edo. The text by Jippensha Ikku was apparently well received at the time and it is said that this led to a certain rivalry between Ikku and Utamaro as to who had made the greater contribution. Whether or not this story is true, the book certainly seems to have enjoyed good sales and the number of extant copies is large. Other than the fact that there is a (?later) black and white edition, there are no major differences observed between copies. Volume one shows the customs and observances of spring and summer and volume two, those of autumn and winter; except that in volume two, certain Yoshiwara scenes are inserted which are unrelated to annual customs, such as "First Meeting" and "Ceremony in the House of Pleasure".

    The replica edition produced by Jitsugyo no Nihon sha (ed. Suzuki Juzo, 1975), ‘Seiro nenju gyoji’, includes a reproduction of the wrapper for the present title.

    Literature:
    Goncourt, Edmond de. Outamaro; Le Peintre des Maisons Vertes. Paris, Bibliotheque Charpentier, 1891.
    ‘Nihon fuzoku zu-e’, no. 12.
    Otaka, Sennosuke 尾高鮮之助, "Utamaro no kibyoshi ko, 1-3"『歌麿の黄表紙考(一)~(三)』, ‘Mizue’「みづゑ」, 275-277, 1928, 68-74.
    Ryerson, 1931, 224-225.
    ‘Kokusho somokuroku’「 国書総目録」, vol. 7, Iwanami Shoten, Tokyo, 1963-72, pl. 920.
    Suzuki, 1975.
    Hillier, Jack, ‘The Art of the Japanese Book’, Sotheby’s Publication, London, 1987, 676-81.
    Smith, Lawrence, ‘Ukiyoe: Images of Unknown Japan’, BMP, London, 1988, book no. 27.
    ‘Hizo Ukiyo-e taikan’「秘蔵浮世絵大観」, gen. ed. Narazaki, Muneshige, suppl. vol, Kodansha, Tokyo, 1987-90.
    Galerie Huguette Berès, Paris, ‘Utamaro: Estampes, livres illustrés’, Paris, 1976 (English edition with addenda London, Messrs Wildentstein, 1977), 224-229.

    Other copies:
    Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
    Huguette Berès Collection.
    The British Library, London.
    The British Museum, London (another copy).
    Chester Beatty Library and Gallery of Oriental Art, Dublin.
    The Art Institute of Chicago.
    Hiroshima Univ. 広島大学.
    Keio Gijuku 慶応義塾, Tokyo.
    Kokugaku-In Univ. 国学院大学.
    Kyoto Univ. 京都大学.
    Kyoto Pref. General Archive 京都府立総合図書館.
    National Diet Libarary 国立国会図書館.
    Gerhard Pulverer Collection (2 copies).
    Okayama Pref. General Culture Centre 岡山県総合文化センター.
    Ota Memorial Museum of Art 太田記念美術館, Tokyo.
    Shinjo Municipal Library 新城市立図書館.
    Tokyo Municipal Central Library 東京都立中央図書館.
    Tobacco & Salt Museum, たばこと塩の博物館 Tokyo.
    Tokyo University 東京大学.
    Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music 東京藝術大学.
    Victoria and Albert Museum, London (vol. 1 only).
    Waseda University 早稲田大学.

    [Main text translated in Japanese below / 以下上記本文日本語訳]

    浅野/クラーク 1995

    題名の示すとおり、江戸唯一の官許の遊郭である吉原の年中行事を描いた絵本。十辺舎一九が本文を担当しており、当時の評判も良く、そのことについて一九と歌麿の間に功績争いがあったと伝えられている。その真偽はさておき、売れ行きが良かったのは事実のようで、現存するものもかなり多い。後摺の墨摺本があるほかは諸本に大きな違いはないようである。上巻は春から秋、下巻は秋から冬の行事・風俗を描くが、下巻には「初会之図」から「倡家之法式」まで、年中行事と関係のない吉原風俗も挟み込まれている。

    なお、実業之日本社版の複製本『青楼年中行事』に本書の袋が再現されている。Illustrations: (vol. 1): 1. Plum and camellia. Kyoka poem by Senshuan Sandara Boshi; 2. Delivery of New Year gifts in Nakanocho (Nakanocho nenrei no zu); 3. First laying-out of bedding (Yagu shikizome no zu); 4. Debut of shinzo (Shinzo-dashi no zu). Kyoka poem by Jippensha Ikku; 5. Street performers in quarter (Kyoku-chu dai-kagura zu); 6. Display-room of house of pleasure at night (Maijiri han-magaki no zu); 7. Cherry-blossom in Nakanocho (Nakanocho hana-zakari no zu). Kyoshi poem by Dondontei; 8. Secret flower-viewing (Naisho hanami no zu); 9. Debut of geisha (Geisha hirome no zu); 10. Lantern Festival (Toro no zu); 11. Niwaka Festival (Niwaka no zu). Kyoshi poem by Sanritei Toshi

    (vol. 2): 1. Chrysanthemum and maple. Haikai poem by Jippensha Ikku; 2. Hassaku Festival (Hassaku no zu); 3. Moonlit night [in mid-autumn] (Ryoya no zu). Kyoka poem by Shoshotei Sanjin; 4. First meeting (Shokai no zu); 5. Party for intimate customer (Irokyaku no zashiki); 6. Parlour scene with customer staying overnight (I-tsuzuke no zashiki); 7. Parting next morning (Kocho kinuginu no zu); 8. Ceremony in house of pleasure (Shoka no hoshiki); 9. Pounding rice [for New Year cakes] (Mochitsuki no zu); 10. Adding colours to interior painting in house of pleasure (Shoho hari-tsuke saiko zu).

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Asano & Clark 1995 487 bibliographic details
    • Hillier & Smith 1980 60 bibliographic details
    • Smith 1988 Books:27 bibliographic details
    • Rousmaniere 2002 figs. 54-56 bibliographic details
    • Buckland 2010 p. 28 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2015 July-October, London, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from Prehistory to the Present'

  • Subjects

  • Associated places

  • Associated events

    • Associated Event: Lantern Festival (Illustration 10)
    • Associated Event: New Year (Illustrations 2 & 20)
    • Associated Event: Niwaka Festival (Illustration 11)
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1979

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1979,0305,0.159.1

  • Additional IDs

    • JH.159 (Hillier no.)

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