Courtesans Promenading on the Nakanochō

Utagawa Toyokunic. 1790

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

Nakanochō was the main street in Yoshiwara, a famous walled pleasure district that housed as many as 4,000 courtesans. In the early evening, elaborately dressed courtesans accompanied by attendants promenaded on the central thoroughfare, as in this scene. The open buildings with shop curtains hanging from their eaves are teahouses, establishments where men could arrange appointments with courtesans of the more prestigious brothels.

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  • Title: Courtesans Promenading on the Nakanochō
  • Creator: Utagawa Toyokuni (Japanese, 1769–1825)
  • Date Created: c. 1790
  • Physical Dimensions: Each: 37.5 x 25.4 cm (14 3/4 x 10 in.)
  • Provenance: Hayashi Tadamasa, (Yamanaka & Co., New York, NY), Edward L. Whittemore [1862–1930], Cleveland, OH, bequest to the Cleveland Museum of Art, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Print
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1930.211.a
  • Medium: One of a triptych of color woodblock prints
  • Original Title: 仲之町の花魁道中
  • Inscriptions: Signature: Toyokuni ga Publisher: Izumiya Ichibei (Senichi han)
  • Department: Japanese Art
  • Culture: Japan, Edo period (1615–1868)
  • Credit Line: Bequest of Edward L. Whittemore
  • Collection: Japanese Art
  • Accession Number: 1930.211.a

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