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Book/Printed Material Beauties of Yoshiwara.

[ Volume 1 ]

More Resources

[ Volume 2 ]
[ Volume 3 ]
[ Volume 4 ]
[ Volume 5 ]

About this Item


  • Beauties of Yoshiwara.


  • Seirō Bijin Awase (Beauties of Yoshiwara) is one of the finest multicolored woodblock printed books in Japan. It was published in 1770. The book depicts 166 courtesans of the Yoshiwara, the pleasure quarter in Edo (present-day Tokyo), with the names of the courtesans and the brothels where they worked, with a haiku (a short poem) in the background of each illustration. The work consists of five sections in five chapters. The original title slip on which the book title and the volume title were printed is attached to the center of the front cover. Each chapter is compiled according to the subject of the haiku: volume 1 for sakura (cherry blossoms), volume 2 for hototogisu (little cuckoo), volume 3 for tsuki (the moon), volume 4 for momiji (the beautifully tinted autumn leaves), and volume 5 for yuki (snow). At the end of volume 5 is the colophon, which shows the publication date, the publisher's name, and the engraver's name. Although the designer's name is not directly mentioned, Suzuki Harunobu (circa 1725-70) is mentioned in the preface and is thought to have designed the illustrations. Harunobu was a leading ukiyo-e artist in the Meiwa era (1764-71) of the Edo period, known for his skill in depicting beautiful young women. In addition to his paintings, he produced a number of works of printed art and is said to have been the pioneer of nishiki-e (multicolored woodblock prints of ukiyo-e).


  • Suzuki, Harunobu, 1725?-1770 Artist.

Created / Published

  • Edo : Funaki Kasuke (et al.), 1770.


  • -  Japan--Tokyo
  • -  1770
  • -  Block printing
  • -  Brothels
  • -  Clothing and dress
  • -  Courtesans
  • -  Feminine beauty (Aesthetics)
  • -  Japanese poetry
  • -  Poetry
  • -  Portraits
  • -  Ukiyo-e
  • -  Women


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource extent: 5 books ; 27 x 18.2 centimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: National Diet Library.
  • -  Content in Japanese.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021666427

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Suzuki, Harunobu, 1725?-1770 Artist. Beauties of Yoshiwara. Edo: Funaki Kasuke et al, 1770. Pdf.

APA citation style:

Suzuki, H. (1770) Beauties of Yoshiwara. Edo: Funaki Kasuke et al. [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Suzuki, Harunobu, 1725?-1770 Artist. Beauties of Yoshiwara. Edo: Funaki Kasuke et al, 1770. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.