Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Saimon (Singing of Shinto prayers)
  • Katsukawa Shunzan
    active 1778–1790s
    active: Japan
  • Saimon (Singing of Shinto prayers), 1790s, Edo period (1600–1868)
  • Seirō manzai nikawa (Manzai Dancers in the Niwaka Festival at the Pleasure Quarters)
  • Where object was made: Japan
  • color woodcut
  • Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 242.9 x 185.7 mm
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 9 9/16 x 7 1/4 in
    Mat Dimensions: 19 x 14 in
  • Gift of Mrs. Arthur S. Johnson (The May Finney Marcy Collection)
  • Not on display
  • 1964.0017

Six courtesans dressed in festival costume with yamabushi straps over shoulders and shakyujō staffs in their hands. They each hold a fan in the other hand with a large character written in red. The characters are also written above: kuma, ine, tai, suki, katsu, and tama. They are possibly the names of the chants they will each be performing.
The Niwaka Festival originated in the Shinbara pleasure-district in Kyoto and then moved to the Yoshiwara district in Edo. It was centered on the pleasure-house inhabitants, and often featured courtesans dressed up in costumes.