Artist: Ando Utagawa Hiroshige (1787-1858)
Woodblock Print Title: Moon-Viewing Point (Tsuki no Misaki), from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (Meisho Edo hyakkei)
1st Publication: August 1857
Size: Vertical ˘ban; 33.5 x 21.9 cm (13 3/16 x 8 5/8 in.)
Date of this edition: August 1857, 1st Edition
Publisher: Uoya Eikichi
Condition: Some fading, visible in the balcony area, some thin area not affecting the print. Margin partially trimmed affecting the seal.
Notes: Very rare 1st edition of this print, with 3 colors in the title cartouche.
More about this print: In contrast to the serenity of the autumn moonlit night depicted in the distance, the scene inside shows the leftovers of an evening of entertainment. Uneaten sashimi lies in an imari-ware dish on a lacquer tray; at left is a sake cup in a washing bowl, a half opened fan, a tobacco pouch, pipe case, a smoking set with a charcoal lighter, and two used towels. In the foreground of the veranda are a pair of chopsticks, two sake flasks, and a low lacquer table with a bowl.
At the right one can see the tip of a shamisen and its box, indicating that a geisha is packing up to leave. At left, discerned only from the shadow of her elaborate hair style, is a courtesan who might be preparing for bed. The customer is not visible; he might have stepped out for a bath. The actual location is a matter of dispute, but it appears to be in one of the many brothels or inns in the Shinagawa settlement.
There is a Hiroshige illustration in a "kyokai" verse anthology (Kyoka Edo Meisho Zue, 1856), published one year earlier, which depicts the same scene as this print, except that the banquet is still in progress and it includes the guest, two geisha, a male entertainer, and the courtesan.
Pictures: Pictures are taken outdoor, in the shade, to reflect true colors, without any enhancements of any kind. The last picture is taken indoor, with a light behind the print, to reveal the exact paper grain, holes if any, or other possible flaws.