The Song Courtesans at the Otowa Waterfall (Keisei Otowa no taki), on Scrap-paper Fabric with a Shinnai-bushi Libretto (Shinnai-bushi no hogo-zome ni narau), from the series A Modern Pine Needle Collection (Tôsei matsu no ha)

「当世まつの葉 傾城音羽滝 新内ふしの反古そめに倣う」

Edo period
late 1820s
Publisher Echizen'ya Kihei (Japanese)

Catalogue Raisonné

Chiba City Museum of Art, Keisai Eisen (2012), #282 (different edition)


Vertical ôban; 37.3 x 25 cm (14 11/16 x 9 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

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

Not On View


Asia, Prints and Drawings



Possibly a triptych: 11.17878 (right), 11.17879 (left), 11.17880 (center)

The original Pine Needle Collection (Matsu no ha), published in 1703, was an anthology of nagauta songs. The fan-shaped insets show male characters from the narratives of the modern ballads, while the main figures are fashionable young women who presumably enjoy listening to the songs. The background designs represent hogo-zome, a cheap fabric made from recycled writing paper.


Keisai Eisen ga


Censor's seal: kiwame


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