Unidentified Artist 作者不祥
The Lustrous Song of Playful Affection and Desire
(Enkyoku irozumō)

Japan, Edo period (1615–1868), c. 1772–1781
Woodblock-printed book; ink on paper
Purchase, Richard Lane Collection, 2003

The anonymous handscroll on display nearby may well have been inspired by this text, which begins with the image of a billboard (banzuke) listing the participants of an upcoming sumo match. The top contenders (makuuchi) in the women’s team include Okue Irina (literally, “Put It In Deep”), and the men’s team is led by Kawai Ironosuke (“Cute Follower of Love”). In this scene, the first match is about to begin, but several members of the audience appear to have already lost interest, choosing instead to enter into heated struggles with their neighbors.

View info on museum database (enabled through support by the Robert F. Lange Foundation)