ARTIST: Kitagawa Tsukimaro (Kikumaro) (died in 1830)

SIGNED: Kikumaro hitsu 菊麿筆

Horizontal oban

Series: Setsugekka mitate fuzoku (Comparing modern mores with the seasons)

Woman is playing with a child. Modern mores represented by a magic lantern. Turtle tied to a box brings allusion to a fairytale about Urashimatarō, a poor fisherman who found boys tormenting a turtle on the beach. He rescued the animal. Grateful turtle brought Urashima to the dragon king’s palace under the sea. After many years, when Urashima decided to return back home, he got a parting gift from dragon’s daughter: a jewel box. Etc. [Handbook of Japanese mythology, Michael Ashkenazi, Oxford University Press, 2003]. Poetry mentions Ono no Komachi, the wit, the beauty, and the poetess of Heian court (c. 825 – c. 900).