Love at the Brothel Gate


late 1760s

Suzuki Harunobu 鈴木春信

(Japanese, 1724–1770)
Sheet: 29 x 21.7 cm (11 7/16 x 8 9/16 in.)
Location: not on view
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.

Download, Print and Share


Courtesans were on display to potential clients through bars, an aspect of their jobs that also afforded an opportunity to have socially distanced interactions with fellow entertainment district denizens. Here, a courtesan with a crane motif on her obi sash converses with her lover, a young man carrying a miniature theater. The poem in the cloud above them comes from New Collection of Poems Ancient and Modern (新古今和歌集) and reads,

Although I yearn,
I do not speak as days and months,
pass by behind my cedar gate.
How can I endure keeping this secret within?
Love at the Brothel Gate

Love at the Brothel Gate

late 1760s

Suzuki Harunobu

(Japanese, 1724–1770)
Japan, Edo period (1615–1868)

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.