Flower Arranged Personally (Te-ike no hana), No. 4 from the series Comparison of Flowers (Hana awase)

「花合四 手活の花」

Edo period
about 1835 (Tenpô 6)
Artist Yanagawa Shigenobu II (Japanese, active about 1830–60)

Catalogue Raisonné

Forrer, Surimono (2013), #378; Carpenter et al, Reading Surimono (2008), #235


Shikishiban; 21 x 18.3 cm (8 1/4 x 7 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (surimono); ink and color on paper

Not On View


Asia, Prints and Drawings



The “flowers” of the series title are various kinds of women, in this case a geisha who is being kept as a private mistress by a wealthy man.
Poems translated in Carpenter et al 2008, p. 357.


Poem by Rakuyôan: Kago ni sumu/ uguisu nare ya/ ito-take ni/ nagaki harubi o/ kurasu otome wa

Poem by Takekumaan Sôju: Kaki o oru/ ada-gokoro naku/ yado shimete/ komoru te-ike no/ hana no ume ga ka

Poem by Ryûeishi: Mayu tsukuri/ kami o aguru o/ tsutome nite/ kurasu onna ya/ haru no aoyagi


Yanagawa Shigenobu


Artist's seal: Yanagawa


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