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About This Artwork
A Woman's Poetry Party, Edo period, c. 1793
Color woodblock print; oban triptych
37.7 x 74.4 cm
left sheet: 37.7 x 24.2 cm
center sheet: 37.7 x 25.4 cm
right sheet: 37.7 x 24.8 cm
Clarence Buckingham Collection, 1928.1063
Not on Display
Generally, the groups of women depicted in prints were courtesans and their attendants, possibly waiting for male guests. In this unusual print, well-dressed women of the upper classes arrive in the large open parlor of the palace of a daimyo (a provincial governor) near the sea at Suma. The three votive-style hangings in the tokonoma (alcove) in the right background indicate the poetry party. Shown are three ancient poets revered in the Edo period: eighth-century Kakinomoto no Hitomaro and Yamabe no Akihito; in the center is the sixth-century poetess Sotori.
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