Courtesan of Edo, Left Sheet of a Triptych (Edo, sanpukutsui hidari)

「江戸 三福対左」

Edo period
about 1735 (Kyôhô 20)
Artist Hirose Shigenobu (Japanese, active about 1716–1736), Publisher Murataya Jirobei (Eiyûdô) (Japanese)

Catalogue Raisonné

Waterhouse, Images of Eighteenth-Century Japan (1975), #45 (R only, 1st state); TNM Ukiyo-e cat. 1 (1960), #s 117-9 (complete, 2nd state); Gunsaulus, AIC cat. I (1955), p. 72 (uncut, 2nd state); Ukiyo-e taisei 2 (1931), #161 (C only, 2nd state)


Hosoban; 32 x 15.8 cm (12 5/8 x 6 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (urushi-e); ink on paper, with hand-applied color and nikawa

Not On View


Asia, Prints and Drawings



In early hosoban triptychs, “left” and “right” often (but not always) mean “proper left” and “proper right,” that is, right and left respectively as seen by the viewer.
The theme of the triptych is “Courtesans of the Three Cities,” with Edo represented in the right sheet, Kyoto in the center sheet, and Osaka in the left sheet. In the second edition, the heads were replaced and their position was reversed; see Waterhouse for discussion of states.
Right sheet, first state: 21.5883
Center sheet, third (?) state: 06.1109
Left sheet, first state: 21.5884


Hirose Shigenobu hitsu


Formerly in the Kobayashi collection; October 1913, purchased by William S. and John T. Spaulding from Frank Lloyd Wright; December 1, 1921, given by William S. and John T. Spaulding to the Museum.

Credit Line

William S. and John T. Spaulding Collection