Artist: Utamaro I Kitagawa (1753 – 1806)
Title: Beauty Playing Shamisen
Series: Edo no Hanamusume Joruri
Publisher: Enshuya Matabei
Date: Late 18th century
Dimensions: 36 x 24.1 cm
A young women plays the shamisen under the bloom of cherry blossoms. The three stringed lute known as the shamisen was associated with the pleasure quarters, or ‘floating world’, of the Edo period (c.1603-1868). Women of the Edo era would partake in pastimes such as performing music and composing verses of poetry. In this work, the women performs the traditional narrative music called joruri which was typically accompanied by the shamisen.