Kiyonaga Torii

A Jōruri Performance (Jōruri) from the series »Musical Pastimes«, um 1785

About the object

The man sitting on the floor is delivering the text open in front of him in song, while the adjacent woman accompanies his singing on the shamisen. Joruri is a form of traditional musical theatre in Japan, where the singing is accompanied by someone playing a long-necked shamisen. The depicted dramatic scene is set in the nightclub district. The courtesans working there can be identified by elements of their dress, such as the loosely bound sash (obi) and hair richly decorated with hairpins.

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