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Oiran with attendants. Main detail of a hanging scroll; ink and color on silk, 1830-40, Japan, by artist Mihata Joryu. MFA

Oiran with attendants. Main detail of a hanging scroll; ink and color on silk, 1830-40, Japan, by artist Mihata Joryu. MFA

Standing Courtesan.  Main detail of a hanging scroll; ink and color on silk, 1789-1804 ,  Japan, by artist Bunnasai Eicho.  MFA (William Sturgis Bigelow Collection).

Standing Courtesan. Main detail of a hanging scroll; ink and color on silk, 1789-1804 , Japan, by artist Bunnasai Eicho. MFA (William Sturgis Bigelow Collection).

Beauties Watching a Revolving Lantern, Utamaro 1750 - 1806 Two beauties watching a revolving lantern optical toy. A silhouette of a geisha playing a shamisen and a dancing cat wearing tall geta sandals and carrying an umbrella appear on the side of the paper shade. To the left of the silhouettes, a man looks through the barred windows of a teahouse, holding a fan to his face.

Beauties Watching a Revolving Lantern, Utamaro 1750 - 1806 Two beauties watching a revolving lantern optical toy. A silhouette of a geisha playing a shamisen and a dancing cat wearing tall geta sandals and carrying an umbrella appear on the side of the paper shade. To the left of the silhouettes, a man looks through the barred windows of a teahouse, holding a fan to his face.

Illustration from `The Twelve Hours of the Green Houses', c.1795 (colour woodblock print) Kitagawa Utamaro - Ukiyo-e

Illustration from `The Twelve Hours of the Green Houses', c.1795 (colour woodblock print) Kitagawa Utamaro - Ukiyo-e

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