• Center panel of <i>Women at the beach of Futami-ga-ura</i> at sunrise [二見 カ浦日の出]
Center panel of <i>Women at the beach of Futami-ga-ura</i> at sunrise [二見 カ浦日の出]
Center panel of <i>Women at the beach of Futami-ga-ura</i> at sunrise [二見 カ浦日の出]
Center panel of <i>Women at the beach of Futami-ga-ura</i> at sunrise [二見 カ浦日の出]

Kitagawa Utamaro (喜多川歌麿) (artist ca 1753 – 1806)

Center panel of Women at the beach of Futami-ga-ura at sunrise [二見 カ浦日の出]


ca 1803 – 1804
10.25 in x 15.25 in (Overall dimensions) Japanese woodblock print
Signed: Utamaro hitsu (哥麿筆)
British Museum - whole triptych
Metropolitan Museum of Art - whole triptych
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - whole triptych
Harvard Art Museums - whole triptych
Yale University Art Gallery - whole triptych
Bibliothèque nationale de France - whole triptych
New York Public Library
Worcester Art Museum - the full triptych
Náprstek Museum
National Gallery in Prague This is the center panel of a triptych. The publisher was Wakasaya Yoichi, whose seal appears on the two outer panels.

"Heading for the beach at Futami-ga-ura early in the morning; a group of women enjoy themselves at the coast, worshipping the morning sun rising between the distinctive 'wedded rocks'. Futami-ga-gura was a famous beauty spot which pilgrims bound for the Ise Shrines would always include in their itinerary. It is not necessary to look for deep significance in the fact that only women are portrayed, or the fact that they are not dressed in travelling clothes. The composition has no other intention than that of combining a group portrait of women, in the genre of 'pictures of customs at famous places' (meisho fūzokuga)."

The quote above is on page 245 of the text volume of The Passionate Art of Kitagawa Utamaro by Shugō Asano and Timothy Clark. The whole triptych is illustrated in color in plates the image volume on page 207.


In 1891 Edmond de Goncourt wrote in Outamaro of this triptych in 1881:
Pèlerinage à Isé. Dans un endroit célèbre par ses levers de soleil, à Isé, près des deux rochers sortant de la mer reliés par un câble en paille, près de ces rochers sacrés, appelés Miôto-Iwa – rochers du couple – et regardés comme l'emblème d'un mari et d'une femme, et auxquels les jeunes mariés viennent adresser les prières pour le bonheur de leur mariage et la naissance d'enfants, une société de femmes sur la plage s'amusent à ôter leurs chaussures et à marcher pieds nus dans le flot, leurs longues robes relevées des deux mains.

"The most famous sacred rocks in the country are probably the two off the shore near Ise known as the Wedded Rocks (Meoto-iwa) at Futami-ura, Mie prefecture. These are unquestionably symbols of Sun worship, and to the com- mon people worship of Amaterasu also, but worship at these rocks is a rather late development. It is believed that they were not symbolic until sometime in the middle ages when the popular worship of Ise was developing."

Quoted from: 'Shinto Symbols' in Contemporary Religions in Japan, Mar., 1966, Vol. 7, No. 1.



1) in a small black and white reproduction in 浮世絵八華 (Ukiyo-e hakka), vol. 3 (Utamaro), Heibonsha, 1985, p. 138. The whole triptych.

2) in color, the whole triptych in Ukiyo-e From Prague Revisiting Japan (プラハ 国立 美術館 所蔵 浮世絵展 : 開館 200周年 記念), 1995, p. 32.

3) in color in Catalogue of Japanese Art in the Náprstek Museum published by The International Research Center for Japanese Studies: Nichibunken Japanese Studies Series 4, 1994, p. 177.

4) the full triptych in color in Ukiyo-e Masterpieces in European Collections 10: Museo d'Arte Genoa, I, supervised by Muneshige Narazaki, 1988, #148.
Wakasaya Yoichi (若狹屋与市) (publisher)
beautiful women (bijin-ga - 美人画) (genre)