Women outside the Ebisuya emporium


  • Catalogue text

    The two beauties depicted on the left have probably just met with the other woman with child on her back by chance in front of the emporium, Ebisu-ya. The Ebisu-ya was one of the biggest mercers in Owari-chō in Edo, which lies in Ginza 4-chōme of present-day Tokyo. The curtain behind them shows a large head of Ebisu (one of the Seven Gods of Fortune) and the word ‘gofuku' (cloth for kimono) on the top left. Next to the woman carrying her child, there is a black box with the inscription, 'Owari-chō ni-chōme'. The logo, comprised of the Chinese character ‘Ebisu' surrounded by a circle, was included in some prints by Utamaro and Eizan, as a form of advertisement, which may imply that this print too, was for advertising purposes. Although Toyohiro is known to have preferred the theme of summer beauties, here he portrays one of the women wearing furisode with a design of pine trees and also the image of Ebisu, which are probably indicative of the New Year season.

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