Ten physiognomic types of women, Coquettish type

Kitagawa UtamaroEdo period, 18th century

Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo, Japan

This piece depicts the upper half of the body of a woman in yukata with part of her chest bare on the white-kira undercoat. The three boxes in the top-left part contain, from the right, the main title of the series Fujin Sōgaku Juttai (Ten Types in the Physiognomic Study of Women), the title of this picture Uwaki no Sō (The Fancy-Free Type), and signature and seals ("imaged and painted by Utamaro," kiwame-in (censor's seal), and publisher's seal). The publisher's seal shows that this picture was published as part of the project by the celebrated producer Tsutaya Jūzaburō (1750 - 97), who made many works of Utamaro and of Sharaku famous. The idea of the project was apparently that Utamaro observed women's faces, and produced ten depictions as explanations of the different types.A beautiful woman in yukata (summer kimono) just after a bath is turning her head and drying her hands with the towel hang on her shoulder. Her just-washed hair is tied around an ornate hairpin, the hair style called bai-mage (spiral-shell chignon). Uwaki is flirting with more than one member of the opposite sex. The unkempt hair of the nape and the movement of the hands one on the other are clear examples of Utamaro's mastery, who had an exceptionally observant eye for women. This piece is considered to be one of the earliest bijin-ōkubi-e (ōkubi-e of a beautiful woman, a portrait type of ukiyo-e) with the kira background.


  • Title: Ten physiognomic types of women, Coquettish type
  • Creator: Kitagawa Utamaro
  • Date Created: Edo period, 18th century
  • Physical Dimensions: w244 x h377 mm
  • Object Title: 婦人相學十躰・浮気之相
  • Object Notes(Japanese): 白雲母摺りの地に、浴衣姿で胸をはだけた女性の上半身を描いている。左上に配された琹形三連枠に、右から、シリーズ名「婦人相学十躰」、副題「浮気之相」、署名「想見 歌麿画(極印)(版元印)」が記されている。版元印から歌麿、写楽の作品を多数世に出した名プロデューサー蔦屋重三郎(つたやじゅうざぶろう)(1750-97)の企画による出版であったことが知られ、歌麿が女性の人相を見て、絵解き風にそれを10種に描き分けてみせる。という企画だったと思われる。 洗い髪を簪(かんざし)に巻きつけた貝髷(ばいまげ)にまとめた浴衣姿の湯上りの美人が肩に掛けた手ぬぐいで手を拭きながら振り返る。「浮気」は、1人に限らず複数の異性に気を移す多情な人。うなじのほつれ毛、両手を重ねた身ごなしも女性観察に優れた歌麿ならではのもの。美人大首絵、雲母摺り背景の最初期の作品とされている。
  • Object Date: 江戸時代・18世紀
  • Artist Name: 喜多川歌麿筆
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: http://www.emuseum.jp/detail/100299/000/000

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