Suzuki Harunobu: Prints in Full Color
Courtesan of the Motoya and Client Disguised as an Itinerant Monk
28.9 x 21.6 cm
The Motoya was a brothel in the Fukagawa district of Edo, and the client in this print is a date komusō. Date means something like “fop”; komusō were Buddhist friars who had license to wander the streets wearing basket hats and playing the shakuhachi (bamboo end-blown flute). Date komusō started to appear as characters on the kabuki stage from the early eighteenth century onward. A man wishing to visit a brothel incognito might disguise himself as a komusō.
Photo: Courtesy of lender