Prostitute on parade, with two kamuro and two shinzo, c. 1766

Not on Viewexpand_more

Within the rarefied world of the Yoshiwara, Edo’s licensed pleasure quarter, the most celebrated prostitutes were beyond the reach of all but the wealthiest patrons. Nevertheless, ordinary visitors could view the reigning beauties during their frequent promenades. When venturing into public, a high-ranking prostitute (oiran) was accompanied by a retinue of attendants, including one or two kamuro (female apprentices), a wakaimono (male servant), and one or two shinzō (lower-ranking prostitutes). The somewhat static quality of this print may be Harunobu’s attempt to convey the slow, stylized “figure-eight” gait of the oiran. Such a spectacle, moving slowly through the streets and attracting throngs of onlookers, was an effective means of advertising the great beauties of the Yoshiwara.

Prostitute on parade, with two kamuro and two shinzo
Artist Life
1725 - 1770
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
Ukiyo-e shūka 4 (1979), list #434
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.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.