“Anthology of Poems: The Love Section” ukiyo-e art prints by Kitagawa Utamaro

Kitagawa Utamaro (1753?-1806) who had become one of the most notable artists in the ukiyo-e world of beautiful women portrait by acquiring a new painting method, published “Anthology of Poems: The Love Section” around 1793.

The title was intended to follow the collections of tanka compiled during the Japanese dynasty era. These collection contain the poems based on themes nature, love affair, and view of life. So, Utamaro’s five woodblock printings are the division of romance among them. Tsutaya Juzaburo who was also the advisor of Utamaro went for publication.

Utamaro drew the women in the different love situations and expressed them with just a picture.

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Uncontainable Love

This woman is crazy about her lover, and it came out to appearance. Her hair is a little frayed, the comb is coming off and the collar is disturbed. She wouldn’t pay attention to the people’s eyes.

Love of meeting every night

Though she meets her lover every night, and receive the letter from him. We can’t learn the contents but her face would express the feeling of elation.

In thought of lost love

Compared with other paintings, she wears the modest kimono. She looks a little upward and absentmindedly with resting her chin on her fingers slightly. Even if she is told to speak by someone, she would not notice.

Love of meeting rarely

Judging from the pretty color kimono and her face,  she seems to be a young lady. Her face shows the loneliness that can not meet easily with her lover.

Deeply concealed love

She would be an older married woman because they had the habit of doing up the hairdo highly with an oval chignon, and blacken their teeth. And she has the Japanese smoking pipe.

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