Calendar print


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

Totoya Hokkei


Print is Public Domain; Photography is:   Creative Commons License


A courtesan shields her hair and face from the wind while a child holding a kite inscribed with the word "crane" (靍) grins up at her.

From the cryptic numbers at the right-hand side of the print we can guess that this is an egoyomi (絵暦), a privately commissioned calendar to be exchanged between friends around the new year. Because only a handful of publishers were officially allowed to publish calendars, non-authorised designers had to get creative in order to hide the fact that their prints were egoyomi. The numbers at the right-hand side of this print probably tell the viewer which are the short and long months, and may also hint to the nengo (era name) and kanshi (sixty-year cycle). Egoyomi were the forerunner to surimono, and it is said that they were the origin of nishiki-e (multi-coloured woodblock prints) in general.

A little nunome-zuri, a technique in which a piece of actual cloth is "printed" using a woodblock, has been used to give texture to the clothing of the beautiful courtesan, and her hairline has been very finely carved.

Another Search

Pair of Fans