Utabikuni (Buddhist priestess promoting virtue through song)


Period Edo period, 17th century
Materials and techniques Hanging scroll, colour on paper
Size 62.1×27.1


Uta-bikuni were nuns who went around chanting prayers and admonishing Buddhism. During the early Edo period there were many wandering harlots disguised as such nuns, with make-up and beautiful voices, stopping at one door after another. Note the enticing expressions of this woman in her yellow clothing and red under-garment.

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