Artist: Utagawa Toyokuni I (初代歌川豊国)

Print: 2 beautiful girls and a monkey dressed up for a New Year's celebration.

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Dates: created,circa 1790
Dimensions: 9.75 in,14.5 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese color woodblock print

Signed: Toyokuni ga (豊国画)
Publisher: Nishimuraya Yohachi
(Marks 391 - seal 23-016)
Censor's seal: kiwame

Related links: Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology, Krakow - single panel; Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology, Krakow - all five panels; Los Angeles County Museum ;

Physical description:

This charming print is actually one panel of a pentaptych.

The decoration in the white reserve on the deep red robe of the kneeling woman is the same as the sculpted paper design used atop a saké bottle at New Year's. There are two bottles, one with a paper stopper made to represent a female butterfly and the other a male butterfly. It is unclear which sex is represented by this robe's decorative motif. However, this may help identify more precisely why these women and the monkey are dressed as they are. The corded bases of the pine branch decorations are another New Year's motif which strengthens this argument.