A Dutiful Geisha, No. 2 from from Kankyo, Nishiki-e Hyakuji Shinbun


 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

A Dutiful Geisha,

No. 2 from from Kankyo, Nishiki-e Hyakuji Shinbun

by Hasegawa Sadanobu II, 1875

Portrait of Saigō Takamori

IHL Cat. #2301

About This Print

The second issue of Osaka's most popular nishiki-e shinbun (color picture newspaper), picturing a dutiful geisha attending to an elderly geisha.

Following their introduction in Tokyo, nishiki-e shinbun made their appearance in Osaka in 1875. The Osaka issued prints differed from their Tokyo counterparts in being half-size (chuban rather than oban size). The Kankyo nishiki-e hyakuji shinbun had the widest circulation among nishiki-e shinbun in Osaka. As many as 190 issues were published  from September 1875 to September 1876. . [ref.https://japanese-wiki-corpus.github.io/culture/Nishiki-e-shinbun.html]

Around June 1876 the paper changed its format to make it appear more like a newspaper to compete with the growing number of Osaka newspapers to which the Osaka nishiki-e shinbun would soon succumb.

image source: Waseda University Library 

To see additional issues, contained in two bound volumes, of the "Officially Authorized Brocade Picture News on Everything" go to the Waseda University Library archive at:

For a summary of the brief life of nishiki-e shinbun (newspaper color woodblock prints) see the article Nishiki-e shinbun and Newspapers in Meiji Japan.

This installation features more than 30 loans from two remarkably rich local resources, the Lavenberg Collection of Japanese Prints, and the Lee & Mary Jean Michels Collection. It was co-curated by Professors Akiko Walley (History of Art and Architecture) and Glynne Walley (East Asian Languages and Literatures) and JSMA Chief Curator Anne Rose Kitagawa. QR codes on selected labels allow visitors to access translations and explanations of the complex wordplay, imagery, and cultural context of these fascinating objects.


HASEGAWA Sadanobu II/Konobu I (二代 長谷川貞信/初代小信, 1848-1940)

Japanese; Meiji period, 1875

A Dutiful Geisha, No. 2 of Authorized Brocade Picture News of Everything (Kankyo Nishiki-e Hyakuji Shinbun)

Ukiyo-e woodblock print in horizontal chūban format; ink and color on paper

The Lavenberg Collection of Japanese Prints, IHL.2301

Translation of text on print:

In Osaka-fu Dai-2-ku 14-shōku Nanba Shinchi 2-banchō, a geisha known as Kura worked in an an establishment popularly known as Sada. Although she had immersed herself in its muddy water her heart and soul were pure with the spirit of filial piety, for she served her mother faithfully. For nine years she toiled in suffering, for ten she endured a world of hurt, and more. Even her customers, as they summoned her in her flowery robes, tugged her sleeves in admiration. Her reputation soared for both beauty and substance as this geisha strove to make her name synonymous with the utmost in filiality.

(Glynne Walley, Associate Professor of East Asian Languages & Literatures)

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description A Dutiful Geisha
 孝行な芸妓くら kōkō na geiji kura
 Newspaper Officially Authorized Brocade Picture News onEverything, No. 2
 Kankyo nishikie hyakuji shinbun 官許 錦画百事新聞 第弐号 (as written in banner along top of print)
 Artist Hasegawa Sadanobu II (1848-1940)
Hasegawa Sadanobu ga 
note: signature is within publisher's cartouche
 Seal not sealed
 Writer of Text
 知足館 松旭 Chisokukan Shōkyoku (active 19th century)
 Publication Date 1875
Maeda Takehachirō 前田武八郎
green cartouche (lower left margin): 
left column: 前田武八郎 
Maeda Takehachirō (also read Buhachirō) [Marks: pub. ref. 288; seal ref. similar to 25-387]
right column: 大坂心才橋塩町 (publisher's address in Osaka)

blue cartouche (lower left image):
right column: 編輯人  友鳴吉兵衛
Editor: Tomonari Kichibei* (Kichibee)
center column: 長谷川貞信画
Picture by [ga]: Sadanobu
left column: 印刷人  前田喜次郞
Printer: Maeda Kijirō
* multiple sources list Kanai Tokubei as the editor, which is true for many of the prints in this series, but not for this particular print.

not provided on print
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - not backed; full margins; minor marks; several small worm holes
 Genre ukiyo-enishiki-e shinbun 錦絵新聞
 Format horizontal chuban
 H x W Paper 
 9 1/2 x 6 13/16 in. (241 x 17 cm) (approximate - not measured)
 H x W Image 

 Collections This Print
 University of Tokyo Meiji Sinbun Zasshi Bunko ID 13142; Ritsumeikan Art Research Center Ukiyo-e Portal Database AcNo. MSZB07-04-142_00001;  Waseda University Library Call No. 文庫10 07354
last revision:
11/18/2020 created