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A tea house waitress in front of an oyasumi-dokoro (御休所) at the Sansha Daigongen (三社大権現) shrine

Identifier: 1790c Shunkyoku hashira-e

"A waitress serving at a tea-stall at the Sansha Daigongen shrine. The grounds of Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples were often filled with places of refreshment."

This is quoted directly from the British Museum's curatorial comments.


Oyasumi-dokoro were roadside resting places, often outside tea stalls. Since teahouses were also places of assignation where men could hook up with women, it is no great stretch to think that tea stalls might have offered some of those same services.

There is an 1783 Utamaro print in the collection of the New York Public Library showing two young women paying special attention to an attractive young man in front of their tea stall. The Shunkyoku only shows the tea stall server, but by inference we know that it probably wasn't just tea she was offering.


Illustrated in Jacob Pins, The Japanese Pillar Print, plate 1016, page 354.

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