Hosoda Eishi
Visit to a Teahouse
c. 1788

Signed: Eishi ga; ōban triptych, 36.9 x 75.1 cm; nishiki-e with karazuri and gomazuri

On the right is the entrance to an elegant restaurant, the women sitting there are perhaps the hostesses. At the gate two women are waiting – one of them perhaps the owner of the restaurant, the other one a servant. The group on the print on the left might be geishas, there to entertain the guests. The interpretations of the captions on the red lantern (“Yanagibashi”) and the lantern by the gate (“Matsumotoya”) are subject to dispute.

M. Densmore, Paris (October 1960)
Riese Collection #84

The elegant restaurant is set beside an iris pond. As waitresses and a woman who may be the proprietress welcome the young guest, other women wait on a veranda where some food has already been prepared and arranged in porcelain bowls. The young man is accompanied by a geisha who walks a step behind a servant who carries her samisen and a lantern inscribed Matsumoto, her name or that of her house. The print is extremely rare, and although the style of engraving suggests the publisher Eijudō, the lack of a publisher’s mark might indicate that the print was commissioned privately by the restaurant and distributed to patrons.

Reproduced in Ingelheim catalogue, no. 81.