Yanagawa Shigenobu, Geisha
The long inscription at the upper left, an integral part of the composition, begins with the phrase “After he left,” suggesting that this beauty is whilling away time with her shamisen after the departure of a lover.
Unlike the ordinary print which was for general sale, surimono were made for private distribution seasonally or to commemmorate special events. Often they were printed rather delicately on thick paper, and the designs reflected the occasion.
Shigenobu (1787-1832) was a pupil of Hokusai, from whom he received the studio name of Raito. Other studio names of Shigenobu are Kinsai, Reisai and Ushosai. After 1822, he moved to Osaka and influenced ukiyoe painting of the Kansai area.