Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳) (artist 01/01/1797 – 04/14/1861)
The maidservant Hatsu-jo (婢初女) from the series Stories of Wise and Virtuous Women (Kenjo reppu den - 賢女烈婦傳)
ca 1841 – 1842
9.5 in x 14 in (Overall dimensions) Japanese woodblock print
Signed: Chōōrō Kuniyoshi ga
Publisher: Ibaya Senzaburō (Marks 127 - seal 11-001)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna
Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford
Lyon Collection - same scene but in an 1832 print by Hokusei
National Museum of Japanese History (via Ritsumeikan University)
Tokyo Metropolitan Library The text reads: "Mizushi Hatsujo: Soregashi ko no jijo Onoe ni tsukau. Shu no Onoe / tsubone Iwafuji ga kankei ni ochiiru jisatsu su. / Hatsu hisoka ni okuniwa ni shinobi Iwafuji o uchite / shu no ada o mukufu."
The museum in Vienna translates the above text loosely as: "The maid Hatsu: The daughter of a certain samurai served lady Onoe. Onoe was victim of an intrigue of maid Iwafuji and committed suicide. Hatsu penetrated secretly into the courtyard of the women and slew Iwafuji avenging her mistress."
Notice the sword Hatsu-jo has with her, seen just below the ladle she is drinking from. She will use it to kill Iwafuji.
The text reads:
"某侯の侍女尾上に仕ふ 主の尾上局岩藤が奸計に堕入り自殺す 初蜜に奥庭に忍び岩藤を討て主の仇を報ふ"
Ibaya Senzaburō (伊場屋仙三郎) (publisher)
mitate-e (見立て絵) (genre)
Iwafuji, Onoe, Ohatsu (岩藤, 尾上, お初) (role)