Print   (Part of the set: Akashi-ban Surimono)

Kubo Shunman


Print is Public Domain; Photography is:   Creative Commons License


In this print, a small boy and a man with a decorated plum branch appear to be dancing, the man wearing a coat decorated with lucky patterns - cloves (a very rare spice in those days) and four-way divided circles called shiho. The man wears a knitted hat, and from the poem, his clothing, and plum branch (attached to which are white pieces of paper), we can determine that he is a kesōbumi-uri - a seller of fortunes. Kesōbumi (懸想文) were paper charms with lucky phrases sold around the start of the new year, especially in Kyoto. Here we see the man and his child attendant dancing down the street, probably trying to sell their lucky phrases by calling out to passers-by and wearing "lucky" clothes to convince buyers that they will get a good fortune. In the upper right corner of the print we see a geisha and her two child attendants with what may be a large pine decoration for the new year behind them. The frame of the print has been done in a delicate Chinese style, and karazuri blind-embossing has been used in the characters' clothing.

This print is from the Hisakataya Jûban no Uchi (久堅屋十番ノ内, "Ten Prints for the Hisakataya Club") series of surimono prints by Shunman. The Hisakataya-ren (Long-Time-No-See or Stalwart Club) was an offshoot of the Katsushika-ren (Katsushika Club). The poem in the print is by Chiyo Matsukage, probably a member of the Hisakataya Club.

Another Search

Roof Tile with Sparrows
Calendar print