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Triptych: color woodblock print
Overall: 37.8 x 25.8 cm (14 7/8 x 10 3/16 in.)
Bequest of Edward L. Whittemore 1930.211
The Nakanocho was the main street in the famous Yoshiwara pleasure district, a walled enclosure that housed as many as 4,000 courtesans during its height. In the early evening, elaborately dressed courtesans, accompanied by attendants, promenaded on the main thoroughfare, as in this scene.
On the left side of the street, an unaccompanied courtesan holding a long, slender pipe lounges on a porch and converses with another courtesan. At the right, a pair of courtesans attract the attention of two men, one presumably a samurai who wears a hooded cloak and hides his face behind a fan. The open buildings with shop curtains hanging from their eaves are teahouses, establishments where men could arrange appointments with courtesans in the more prestigious brothels.
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