The title is given a wide range of translations, depending on how literal - and discreet - the translator wishes to be; in the original Japanese it seems to have a number of potential double meanings which are difficult to capture in English. kaiseki means 'meeting place', 'party', 'restaurant dinner', etc.; beppin is a somewhat vulgar word meaning 'beautiful woman'; and kurabe means 'competition' or 'auction'. So one plausible translation is 'Competition between beautiful women at restaurants'.
The characters for Kōto, 'Imperial city', in the title cartouche are written horizontally in small characters above the others; those words are therefore sometimes left out of the title given for this series.
Note that Japanese at that point in time was generally written in vertical columns, running from right to left; a horizontal arrangement was used only where the text had to fit into a limited space. In such horizontal writing, the characters ran from right to left, since it was a special case of the normal vertical writing, one in which each column contains only a single character. Only after World War II did the left-to-right horizontal form common in Western languages become widespread in Japan.
The title of each individual print are on the sides of the cartouche which holds the series title; the location is given at the bottom right, and the establishment at the bottom left.
The series dates from toward the end of Yoshitoshi's career, when he was about thirty-nine. It thus dates from only about seven years before his well-known masterpieces such as his great series "One Hundred Aspects of the Moon" (1885-1892), and "New Forms of Thirty-Six Ghosts" (often called simply "Thirty-Six Ghosts") (1889-1892).
The prints in this series are collaborations between Yoshitoshi and various of his students, including:
Roger. S. Keyes, "Courage and Silence: A Study of the Life and Color Woodblock Prints of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 1839-1892", Cinncinnati, 1982where it appears as series #404.
Keyes listed nine prints in this series, but we have found an additional twelve prints, which we have numbered in the order in which they were discovered (approximately).
This page (and list) is not necessarily complete; the series is not well documented, and there may be yet other prints which have not yet come to our attention. If you know of any prints from this series which aren't listed here, or have either i) information about any errors on the page, ii) better images than the ones below, iii) missing information about individual prints (e.g. publisher, exact date), please let us know.
If we have a higher-quality image, that image can be viewed by clicking on the "Large Image" link, which gives the size of the image (for the benefit of those on slow links). Sometimes there is more than one, if our best-quality image has issues (e.g. trimmed margins).
|Thumbnail||Large image||Number||Date||Collaborator||Title (Kanji)||Title (Rōmaji)||Title (English)||Description|
|237KB||#1||4/1878||Toshinobu||大阪町 浪花屋||Ōsaka-chō Namiwa-ya||The Namiwa-ya restaurant in the Ōsaka District|
|231KB||#2||4/1878||Attributed to Toshishige||檜物町 壽美屋||Himono-chō Sumi-ya||The Sumi-ya restaurant in the Himono District||In modern Japanese, the placename is often written with the simplified
character 桧, instead of the one given here.
In modern Japanese, the simplified character 寿 is often used for the first character in the restaurant's name, instead of the one given here
|#3||Possibly 4/1878||Attributed to Toshiyuki||竹川町 花月(亭)||Takegawa-chō Kagetsu||The Kagetsu restaurant in the Takegawa District|
|#4||Possibly 4/1878||Attributed to Toshiyuki or Toshishige||柳島 橋本||Yanagi-shima Hashimoto||The Hashimoto restaurant at Yanagi Island|
|269KB||#5||Possibly 4/1878||Toshiyuki||木挽町 曽田屋||Kobiki-chō Sōda-ya||The Sōda-ya restaurant in the Kobiki District||Azumaya Kotoshi seeing off the geisha Musashiya Kunisuke.
The first character in the restaurant's name is a non-standard form of the character 曾.
Some sources give the first character in the restaurant's name as the character 岩, but this is not correct; see the large image.
|#6||Possibly 4/1878||Attributed to Toshimasa||三十間堀 狐 尾張||Sanjūkken-bori Kitsune Owari||The Kitsune Owari restaurant at Sanjūkken Canal||The name of this establishment can be translated as 'The Fox-Tail Restaurant'.|
|322KB||#7||4/1878||Possibly Toshiyuki||芝口 伊勢源||Shibakuchi Isegen||The Isegen restaurant at Shibakuchi||Katsura Osen and Otoku of Noshima-ya House.|
|233KB||#8||Probably 4/1878||Toshiyuki||南鍋町 伊勢勘||Minami-nabe-chō Isekan||The Isekan restaurant in the Minami-nabe District|
|#9||4/1878||Possibly Toshiyuki||㚑岸嶋 丸伊||Reigan-jima Marui||The Marui restaurant at Reigan Island||The first character in the location name is obscure, and not generally used in Japanese; the reading was provided by sources, but may not be correct. The location with that name is usually written with the character 霊 in Japanese.|
|257KB||#10||Probably 4/1878||Toshinobu||深川 平清||Fukagawa Hirakiyo||The Hirakiyo restaurant at Fukagawa|
|204KB||#11||Probably 4/1878||Attributed to Toshimasa or Toshiyuki||烏森町 昇榮樓||Karasumori-chō Shōeirō||The Shoeirō restaurant in the Karasumori District||In modern Japanese, the simplified character 栄 is often used for the second character in the restaurant's name, instead of the one given here; similarly, 楼 is often used instead of the last character.|
|358KB||#12||Possibly 4/1878||Attributed to Toshimasa or Toshinobu||久保町 賣茶亭||Kubo-chō Baicha-tei||The Baicha Restaurant in the Kubo District||In modern Japanese, the simplified character 売 is often used for the first character in the restaurant's name, instead of the one given here.|
|231KB||#13||4/1878||Possibly Toshishige or Toshiyuki||元大工町 中安||Motodaiku-machi Nakayasu||The Nakayasu restaurant in the Motodaiku District|
|232KB||#14||4/1878||Possibly Toshihisa||淺廣 壽千樓||Asahiro Jusenrō||The Jusenrō restaurant at Asahiro||
In modern Japanese, the placename is often written with the simplified characters
浅広, instead of the ones given here.
In modern Japanese, the simplified character 寿 is often used for the first character in the restaurant's name, instead of the one given here; similarly, 楼 is often used instead of the last character.
|184KB||#15||4/1878||Attributed to Toshimasa||芝 山内 福住||Shiba sannai Fukuzumi||The Fukuzumi restaurant in the grounds of Shiba Shrine||Some sources read the last character of the restaurant name as the character 佳, but this is not correct; see the large image.|
|214KB||#16||Possibly 4/1878||Probably Toshinobu||三好町 魚十||Miyoshi-chō Uojū||The Uojū restaurant in the Miyoshi District|
|234KB||#17||4/1878||Unread||築地 隅屋||Tsukiji Sumi-ya||The Sumi-ya restaurant at Tsukiji||The literal meaning of Tsukiji is 'built land', i.e. re-claimed land; the district is where there used to be lowland marshes at the Sumida River delta. During the Tokugawa period, Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first Tokugawa Shogun directed extensive excavations, both of canals, and a moat for the greatly expanded fortifications of Edo castle; the marshes along the river were systematically filled with spoil from these, the land thus newly created being used for housing and waterfront commercial centres.|
|226KB||#18||4/1878||Unread||両國 柏屋||Ryōgoku Kashiwa-ya||The Kashiwa-ya restaurant at Ryōgoku||In modern Japanese, the last character in the placename is usually written with the simplified character 国 instead of the one given here.|
|#19||1878/4||Possibly Toshiyuki||新富町 躍金樓||Shintomi-chō Yakukinrō||The Yakukinrō restaurant in the Shintomi District|
|#20||Possibly 1878/4||Toshinobu||深川 松本||Fukagawa Matsumoto||The Matsumoto restaurant at Fukagawa|
|#21||Possibly 1878/4||Toshinobu||新芳町 百尺||Shin-Yoshi-chō Momoseki||The Momoseki restaurant in the New Yoshi District|
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Last updated: 6/July/2011