Young Woman With Plectrum and Practice Book

Young Woman With Plectrum and Practice Book

Object Title:

Young Woman With Plectrum and Practice Book


c. 1748


Ishikawa Toyonobu


Unknown (Japanese Art)


Unknown (Japanese Art)


Izumiya Ichibei < Izuichi > Kansendö


Hand-colored woodblock print Technique: Woodblock print with hand coloring

Credit Line:

Gift of James A. Michener, 1991 (21887)

Object Number:



Izumi-ya Ichibei Kansendö (c. 1680s~1860s) 和泉屋市兵衛 <泉市>甘泉堂貞享~明治前期


A girl stands holding a shamisen (Japanese musical instruments) plectrum and a practice book for the Tokiwazu ballad. The girl wears a crest inscribed with the character “Some” and may be intended to represent the popular Kabuki heroine “Osome.” No specific play about Osome seems to have been performed in the late 1740’s, however, and the girl may represent a well-known geisha of the period whose name is not recorded. The kimono demonstrates dan-gawari (literally, different levels), a type of garment patterning consisting of alternating blocks of differing materials, colors, or designs. This kimono looks like a patchwork of different motifs: plums, chidori (thousand birds), whirls, Körin-giku (chrysanthemum designed by Körin) etc. The different materials, patterns and textures in this vivid kimono made a bold fashion statement. (from "VOGUE in Japan: Edo Fashion through Japanese prints" exhibiton 07/30/08-)