Courtesans Viewing Cherry Blossoms


Edo period
1785 (Tenmei 5)
Artist Torii Kiyonaga (Japanese, 1752–1815), Publisher Nishimuraya Yohachi (Eijudô) (Japanese)

Catalogue Raisonné

Hirano 1939, #0797; Ukiyo-e shûka 2 (1985), list #38; Ukiyo-e shûka 5 (1980), pls. 181-3; Chiba, Torii Kiyonaga (2007), pl. 124; MFA, Printed Treasures (2008), #60


Vertical ôban triptych; 39 x 78 cm (15 3/8 x 30 11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper

Not On View


Asia, Prints and Drawings



Triptych: 11.14007 (right), 11.14008 (center), 11.14009 (left)

MFA impressions: 11.13959 (C, key block), 11.14007-9 (complete triptych), 11.14010 (L), 11.14011 (C), 11.14012 (R), 21.7431-2 (L and C)

The courtesans are, from the right:
Nioteru of the Ôgiya, kamuro: Namiji and Ômi
Utahime of the Matsubaya, kamuro: Kanomo and Konomo
Senzan of the Chôjiya, kamuro: Yasono and Yasoji
Dateable to 1785 by checking the names of the kamuro in Yoshiwara guidebooks; see Ukiyo-e shûka 5, pp. 200-1.


Kiyonaga ga (on each sheet)



By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 – d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911)

[1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection