Eishosai Choki

The Courtesan Tsukasa-Dayu

Colour woodcut, mid-1790's

I first saw this print illustrated in one of Mr. Michener's books on Japanese prints, and instantly felt it was something 'special'. I later bought a reproduction made by the Adachi Institute here in Tokyo. On the face of it, the design is completely bizarre: she has no shoulders, her features are a parody of a human face, and could you actually imagine sitting and talking to someone with a hair-do like that?

But still, even with all that said, ...