Signature: Toyokuni ga
Publisher: Izumiya Ichibei (Senichi han)
(Yamanaka & Co.)
The Yoshiwara was the famed pleasure district of 17th-18th-century Edo (present-day Tokyo). In the early evening it was customary for elaborately dressed courtesans to promenade on the main thoroughfare, accompanied by attendants. Usually there were two kamuro (young girl attendants), two shinzo (older girl attendants not yet of courtesan rank), a male lantern-bearer, a male umbrella-bearer, and a yarita (old woman chaperone). Only some of these attendants may be depicted with the courtesan-a highly popular subject in paintings and prints. The fashions of the time are faithfully recorded in these pictures.