An ukiyo-e folding screen depicts a group of ladies preparing for Japanese Star festival called Tanabata festival, which takes place on the 7th day of the 7th month of the year. Painted on silk with ink and pigments. On the right panel depicts a beautiful woman sitting at the coffee table preparing to write her wishes on the colorful piece of paper. As part of the custom, the wishes are to be hanged on a bamboo tree in the hope that they become true. The other ladies are depicted on the other panel reading a book of One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets. It is interesting to see that one woman depicted in long sleeves kimono, while the other is with short sleeve kimono on each panel. The changes in women’s clothing and accessories occurred during mid Edo period as the merchant class was becoming financially more powerful and their culture took place of a samurai in the history. In the peace and luxurious times of Edo period, people enjoyed fashion, and Kimono became increasingly beautiful, splendid, and essential part of their lives as decoration. Under such times, Kimono changed its style to loose garment of long measurement and sleeves with gorgeous pattern, which is shown in this fine folding screen. As we can see, ukiyo-e was a crystallization of the merchant class culture in the Edo period. Painted in great detail, especially the depiction of the women’s kimono and obi sash is exquisite.
Painting: 33 1/8” x 20” (84.0cm x 50.5cm)
Screen: 74 1/8” x 28 3/4” (188.0cm x 73.0cm)