A Beauty Looking at the First Sunrise, late 1790s

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Along with book illustrations and some actor prints, Chōki designed many prints of women, including some impressive half-length portraits. This composition, one of his most accomplished productions, is from a four-panel series of beautiful women, commonly known as Shiki no bijin (Beauties in Four Seasons). The woman is enjoying the sunrise on New Year’s Day, the occasion that marked the coming of spring in the lunar calendar. The first sunrise was considered sacred, and people got up early to pray to the sun for health and happiness during the year. A stone washbasin (chōzubachi) in the foreground suggests that this woman has performed ritual ablutions in preparation for her prayers. The potted plant with yellow flowers by the basin is fukujusō (literally, “plant of fortune and longevity”), cultivated to bloom at New Year’s.

A Beauty Looking at the First Sunrise
Artist Life
fl. late 18th-early 19th century
Accession Number
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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