Courtesan Tying Her Obi,

c. 1834-1842

by Utagawa Kunifusa I

IHL Cat. #2569


A courtesan is tying her obi as she looks back at a shouting figure.

Note: The inscription on the print has not been translated. 

Artist Profile

Utagawa Kunifusa 歌川國総 (act. c. 1833-1844)

Little is known about this artist who signed his name Kunifusa 國総 and who may have been a student of Utagawa Toyokuni II 歌川豊国 (1744-1835). There is also an Utagawa Kunifusa II, who signed his prints 國房 rather than 國総. The Wikipedia entry "List of Utagawa school members" lists Kunifusa I 國総 as being active 1810-1813, a Kunifusa 國房 as being active at the "beginning 19th century" and a Kunifusa II 國房 being active 1834-1883. The St. Louis Art Museum lists an Utagawa Kunifusa II, b. 1830 and displays an 1894 print attributed to him. The website Ukiyo-e Signature Sample Database gives the active dates for a Kunifusa 國総 as 1830-1844, the dates I've used here. 

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has two toba-e in their collection (11.45819 and 11.458.20) bearing Kunifusa's signature. 

Print Details

Toba-e #2569