Girl's Life from the series Reflections of Good and Evil for a Healthy Life

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Girl's Life from the series

Reflections of Good and Evil for a Healthy Life

by Utagawa Fusatane, 1873

Report: The Whole Nation Living in Perfect Contentment (Empress, Empress Dowager and Court Ladies in Waiting Sewing Pledgets)

IHL Cat. #286

About This Print

This scene depicts a woman jumping off a terrace using the Japanese character for life, inochi, as a parachute.  It is likely a depiction of the Edo period tradition holding that if one were to survive jumping from the terrace of Kiyomizu Temple, one's wish would be granted. 234 jumps were recorded in the Edo period and of those, 85.4% survived.1  The expression "to jump off the porch at Kiyomizu" is the Japanese equivalent of the English expression "to take the plunge."

Kiyomizudera (清水寺; also spelled Kiyomizu-dera; "Pure Water Temple") was founded in 780 AD and still functions as a temple associated with the Hosso sect of Japanese Buddhism.2

1 Sacred Destinations website
2 Ibid.

About The Series

A comic series where each print features the character  inochi (life.)  The chuban size prints in this series were printed two-up on an uncut oban size sheet, with the top-most print on the sheet bearing the series number and the bottom sheet containing the publisher's seal and date seal as can be seen in the following:

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description  Girl's Life
 Series  Reflections on Good and Evil for a Healthy Life (命の養生善悪鏡 Inochi no yōjō zen aku kagami)
 Artist  Utagawa Fusatane (active 1854-1888)
 Signature  unsigned (bottom print of the uncut oban sheet signed Ōsai Fusatane hitsu)
 Publication Date  1873
 Publisher  no seal present but unread publisher's seal on bottom print of uncut oban size sheet
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition good - light overall toning; minor soiling
 Genre  ukiyo-e (giga)
 Miscellaneous  Marked with Japanese number 3 in upper  margin
 Format  chuban
 H x W Paper
 7 1/4 x 9 3/8 in. (18.4 x 23.8 cm)
 H x W Image 6 1/2 x 8 3/4 in. (16.5 x 22.2 cm)

 Collections This Print