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Procession of Girls with Fuji Foreheads (Fuji bitai hana no gyôretsu)

Utagawa Toyokuni I

Artwork Details

Procession of Girls with Fuji Foreheads (Fuji bitai hana no gyôretsu)
late 18th century - early 19th century
Utagawa Toyokuni I
color woodblock print on paper, one of series of five
15 5/16 in. x 10 1/4 in. ( 38.9 cm x 26 cm )
Museum Purchase
1938.6

On Display

Not currently on display

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Description

Utagawa Toyokuni I
Japan, 1769–1825
Procession of Girls with Fuji Foreheads
Edo period (1615–1868)
Late 18th to early 19th century
Color woodblock print on paper
Museum Purchase, 1938.4–8
Mount Fuji was frequently shown in the mass-produced woodblock prints known
as ukiyo-e or “pictures of the floating world.” These prints depicted subjects such as
popular fashions or significant landmarks in the Japanese landscape. This set of five
prints combines these two themes by cleverly pairing a woman sporting a trendy
hairstyle known as the “Fuji forehead” (fuji bitai) with Mount Fuji. The hairstyle
emphasized the pale flatness of the forehead and was produced by pinning the hair
so that it showed off the widow’s peak, creating a shape reminiscent of the famous
mountain. While Mount Fuji was visible from the city of Edo (present-day Tokyo), the
women’s proximity to it suggests the artist deliberately flattened the space to create a
more direct parallel between their hair and the mountain.

Subject Matter:

This painting has been noted as soiled and may have affected the colors of the print. https://collections.mfa.org/objects/500324 This image suggests that the second woman's green clothing is purple and the third woman wears brown robes instead of orange. The objects each women is holding appear to be ritual procession items. The pom pom stick would be shaken to display the movement of the fibers. The carriage leg carried by the third woman houses an important person of the procession.  

Physical Description:

This is the third print in the series of five which is denoted in the bottom left. The three women wear three different colors of kimono—the one in front black, the second green, and the third orange-yellow. The first one in front holds a long stick with a shaggy pom pom attached at the top. Behind her the woman in green holds a stick a spear like object on the end of it. The woman behind her in orange holds one of the legs of the lifted carriage. Mt. Fuji is in the background. There are two inscriptions one underneath the green and orange-robed women and another further to the right. 

Usage Rights:

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