this woodblock print represent Shizuka Gozen (静御前) (1165–1211) wearing the full dress of a shirabyôshi(白拍子) were Japanese female entertainers in which she danced before Yoritomo no minamoto at Tsuru ga oka.
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Shizuka Gozen (静御前) (1165–1211), or Lady Shizuka, one of the most famous women in Japanese history and literature, is a shirabyōshi (court dancer, wearing male clothing during performances) of the 12th century who was the mistress of Minamoto no Yoshitsune. Yoshitsune fled Kyoto in 1185, after the Genpei War and following a disagreement with her brother Minamoto no Yoritomo, the first shogun of Kamakura, she was captured and forced to dance and sing for the shogun. She will sing about her love for Yoshitsune there which will make Yoritomo very angry. The end of her life is not very clear if she was murdered or committed suicide. She represents loyalty to her lover, Yoshitsune.
Kuniyoshi Utagawa (1797-1861), 歌川国芳, Son of a silk dyer, he was born in 1797 under the name of Yoshizo. In his youth, he probably assisted his father, providing the designs for the pieces to be dyed, and thus naturally oriented himself towards the world of art. He was accepted as a pupil by Toyokuni Utagawa in 1814. Later, he founded his his own school and his drawings became popular. Famous for his prints of actors and animals (especially cats that he adored), he owes his inspiration above all to legends, to the fantastic, poetic and warrior universe of which we find a strong influence in his work. He is the author of 10,000 prints and several series. The great earthquake of 1855, after which, returning home late, he was given for dead by his family and the members of his workshop, marks the end of his great period. Suffering from illness and depression, he now produces little. He died in Edo in 1861.
|era||edo period 1603-1867|
|signature||Kuniyoshi Utagawa (1797-1861), 歌川国芳|