Lovers Plying a Rooster with Sake, 1767-1768

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A hallmark of Suzuki Harunobu’s artistic vision is his charming, if somewhat unlikely, depiction of young lovers. Here, a couple gives sake to a rooster in hopes the bird will become too intoxicated to crow, thus prolonging their time together before the household awakens. Seen through the open sliding door, a lantern in the adjoining room indicates it is still early morning, before the previous evening’s accoutrements have been stowed away. However, beyond the woven fence at lower right, an unohana flower, which blossoms in summer, hints that dawn will come early, adding urgency to the lovers’ antics.

Lovers Plying a Rooster with Sake
Artist Life
1725 - 1770
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
K746, Ukiyo-e shūka 4 (1979), list #592
Curator Approved

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