Mirror of Womens Tasks

(Fujin tewaza kagami, 婦人手わざ鏡)

c. 1843

 

This series shows beautiful women performing various tasks. It is listed as number 141 in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1961). Most or all of the prints were published at least twice by two different publishers. Murata-ya Tetsu published the prints with a red title cartouche and colored stylized clouds; Yamashiro-ya Jinbei published the prints with gold speckling and either a red or a blue title cartouche. The prints are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ban. I am grateful to Robert Pryor for his contributions to this section.

 

 

Task: Flower arranging (Ska, 挿花)

Description: Crouching woman with flowering branch

Publisher: Murata-ya Tetsu

 

Task: Awaiting her husband

Description:

Publisher: Yamashiro-ya Jinbei

 

Task: Preparing tea (Cha no yu, 茶の湯)

Description: Kneeling woman boiling water for the tea ceremony

Publisher: Murata-ya Tetsu

 

 

 

Task: Preparing tea (Cha no yu, 茶の湯)

Description: Kneeling woman boiling water for the tea ceremony

Publisher: Yamashiro-ya Jinbei

 

NOTE: This print, and a few other examples on this page, bears the seal of the censor Murata Sahei.

 

 

Task: Shaping cotton (Wata, 綿)

Description: Seated woman shaping cotton batting

Publisher: Murata-ya Tetsu

 

Task: Shaping cotton (Wata, 綿)

Description: Seated woman shaping cotton batting

Publisher: Yamashiro-ya Jinbei

 

Task: Salt (Shio, )

Description:

Publisher: Murata-ya Tetsu

 

Task: Sewing a kimono (Shidate, 仕立)

Description: Kneeling woman sewing a kimono with a needle and thread held between her teeth; a child playing the koto in the background

Publisher: Murata-ya Tetsu

 

Another state also published by Murata-ya Tetsu without a pattern on the obi or the object in the foreground

 

Task: Dressmaking (Shitate, 仕立)

Description: Kneeling woman sewing a kimono with a needle and thread held between her teeth; a boy playing the koto in the background

Publisher: Yamashiro-ya Jinbei

 

I am grateful to Robert Pryor for this keyblock print for the preceding image.

 

Task: Dying cloth (Some mono, 染物)

Description: Woman attaching natural fibers to the edges of a length of blue cloth

Publisher: Murata-ya Tetsu

 

 

Another state also published by Murata-ya Tetsu

 

Task: Dying cloth (Some mono, 染物)

Description: Woman attaching natural fibers to the edges of a length of blue cloth

Publisher: Yamashiro-ya Jinbei

 

 

 

This keyblock print (kyg or kygozuri-e), of the above design, is an impression pulled from the first woodblock made by a carver from Kuniyoshis original drawing.

 

Task: Preparing the menu (kondate, 献立)

Description: Standing woman looking down at two boxes

Publisher: Murata-ya Tetsu

CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO MAIN PAGE