Kitagawa Utamaro, “Twelve Hours of the Green Houses ” woodblock prints

The series of “Twelve Hours of the Green Houses “(『青楼十二時』, Seiro juniji)

Kitagawa Utamaro (1753?-1806) had won overwhelming popularity by using drawing method called Tajika for beatiful women portrait artworks including “Anthology of love”, “Ten Learned Studies of Women “, and Famous Beauties of Edo”.


 In the mid-1790s, he departed from the techniques that a large image of the upper body of a woman, he drew again creating a picture of a whole figure with “Twelve Hours of the Green Houses ” .


In this work he expressed the courtesans of the Yoshiwara (a red‐light district in Edo Period) for each time of  Japanese former style. The series is made up of 12 pictures, we can see a bell representing time at the top of the picture. And there are plants in the box of the watch attached with the weights under it.


Comparing his famous prints including “Three beauties of the present day” , Utamaro painted the whole model of the art series as the outline of their face and body more slender.



The gallery of “Twelve Hours of the Green Houses “


The mouse hour(子の刻Neno-koku, PM23:00-Am1:00)

The mouse hour


The cow hour(丑の刻, Ushino koku AM1:00-AM3:00)

The cow hour



The tiger hour(寅の刻, Torano koku AM3:00-AM5:00)

The tiger hour



The hare hour(卯の刻, Uno koku AM5:00-AM7:00)

The hare hour



The dragon hour(辰の刻. Tatsuno koku AM7:00-AM9:00)

The dragon hour



The snake hour(巳の刻, Mino koku AM9:00-AM11:00)

The snake hour



The horse hour(午の刻, Umano koku AM11:00-PM1:00)

The horse hour



The sheep hour(未の刻, Hitsujino koku PM1:00-PM3:00)

The sheep hour



The monkey hour(申の刻. Saruno koku PM3:oo-PM5:00)

The monkey hour



The chiken hour(酉の刻, Torhino koku PM5:00-PM7:00)

The chiken hour



The boar hour(亥の刻. Ino koku PM7:00-PM:9:00)

The boar hour



The dog hour(戌の刻, Inuno koku PM9:oo-PM11:00)

The dog hour



See also



Back to the page of Kitagawa Utamaro


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