Housewife Shaving Her Eyebrows

Color woodblock print: ōban tate-e, 15⅝ x 10¼ in. (39.7 x 26.0 cm); circa 1822−23
Series: Fashionable Makeup Mirrors (Imafu keshō kagami)
Signed: Gototei Kunisada ga
Censor’s seal: kiwame (approved)
Publisher: Azumaya Daisuke (Kinshūdō)

Married women in Edo Japan shaved their eyebrows and blackened their teeth. Here, a chic young housewife is performing the intimate task of carefully shaving her eyebrows, as seen reflected in her hand mirror. She wears a simple tortoiseshell comb in her hair, along with metal pins, their caps formed as stylized flowerheads of the same shape as her family crest, which appears on her shoulder. Her fashionable robe is decorated with a minute honeycomb pattern with a black silk collar and purple, pink, and magenta-hued underrobes.

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