Edo Toys and beni lipstick



藤岡 摩里子 (著)

Toys in Ukiyo-e Woodblock Prints
in the Edo Period
Mariko Fujioka

The Lost Owl and Laughing Daruma


This book features three ukiyo-e works of Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861) , born in the late Edo Period.
What these three prints have in common is the figure of an owl toy.
Very few people know what it means. Let's take a look as to how this owl toy originally developed in Japan.

第3章 だるま、みみずくにグチる   
─ みみずくとだるまの江戸時代におけるイメージ
Daruma complains to the owl

第4章 みみずく、だるまとともに役者になる   
Daruma and the owl become real heroes in the Edo period

© www.shahyo.com

CLICK for more photos !

This kind of owl image and toy was used in the Edo period to ward off the smallpox.

hoosoo-e 疱瘡絵 prints to protect children from smallpox
red prints 赤絵 aka-e

Hoosoo 疱瘡 Smallpox, Red and Daruma
(Essay by Bernard Faure)

- Introduction to smallpox -

. hoosoo 疱瘡 伝説 Hoso - Legends about Smallpox .


歌川国芳 江戸東京博物館蔵
Utagawa Kuniyoshi

CLICK for originan link ... www.kumon.ne.jp
赤い羽子板 akai hago-ita
with a lady Daruma, for a girl


疱瘡の神 God of Smallpox
Daruma with toys of children


source :  www.eisai.co.jp/museum with more "red images"

Momotaro and Daruma ... 桃太郎とだるま


kigo for late winter

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kanbeni 寒紅 かんべに "crimson lipstick made in the cold"
kanbeni uri 寒紅売(かんべにうり)vendor of crimson lipstick

ushibeni 丑紅(うしべに) "bull lipstick"
"crimson bought on the day of the ox" ushibeni lipstick

This was used to prevent illnesses, like cold and the smallpox. You had to buy it on the day of the ox in the middle of the cold season to be effective. You put it on the lips and it would kill all the bacteria in your mouth. The girls of Edo and Kyoto loved to use this.

It was not really a stick, but a paste sold in little pots or small shells and smeared on the lips with the little finger. On the day of the ox and before that, vendors would walk along the streets, calling their ware. And the shops put up little paper signs announcing they got the "lipstick made in the cold", which was said to be the best and most shining.

. WKD . benibana 紅花 Safflower and kurenai red  
used to produce this BENI lipstick.

dosan ni wa Kyoo no kanbeni Ise no hashi

as souvenirs
kanbeni lipstick from Kyoto
chopsticks from Ise

ushibeni o mina koku tsukete hanashikeri

with a thick layer
of ushibeni lipstick
they all talk happily

Takahama Kyoshi 虚子


ushibeni ni onna to narishi doo suzushi

with ushibeni lipstick
I become a woman -
cool pupils (of my eye)

Nozawa Junsui 野沢順水

. WKD : Lips and Lipstick .

soource : 2004 大阪府立中之島図書館
Daruma doll and Ushibeni in a container like an oxen.

Ushi, the bull, the oxen, the cow and Daruma

伊勢半本店 紅ミュージアム Isehan Beni Museum
企画展 『江戸の赤』 Edo no Aka

CLICK for more photos
Exhibition : The color RED of Edo
(October 2009)


kurenaishi 紅師 making lip red from safflowers
They also used the color to dye cloth.
beni seizo shokunin 紅製造職人

. Edo shokunin 江戸の職人 Edo craftsmen .

江戸の化粧 Edo no Kesho - 陶智子 Sue Tomoko

. 江戸美人の化粧 Cosmetics of the Edo Bijin Beauties .

kusuriyubi surikoki ni suru beni no choku

using the fourth finger
like a pestle
in the lipstick dish

Senryu from Edo


. Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 .

beni-zara ni uwauke ni keri haru no yuki

onto a small dish
of red lipstick
spring snow

This hokku is from the eleventh month (December) in 1823, the year in which Issa's wife Kiku died in the fifth month. A month later, in January 1824, Issa's remaining son also died, leaving him completely without a family. In the tenth and eleventh months, after having left his ailing infant son with a couple who could nurse him, he mostly stayed with various students living in towns near his village. Perhaps he saw snow falling on a woman's lipstick dish left on a porch, or he could have been remembering his wife's lipstick dish from the early spring of this or a previous year. Or he may have been looking at his wife's partially used lipstick dish, which she left behind when she died.

Japanese women (and Kabuki actors) used lipstick, that is, red lip dye (beni), which was sold brushed onto the surface of small dishes (or sometimes inside bowls). The dye was brushed on as if it were lacquer, in many very thin layers, each of which was allowed to dry before the next layer was applied, so the pigment was concentrated and lasted a long time. To redden their lips (or make cheek rouge by mixing in white makeup) at times of special ceremonies or celebrations, women wet the outer lipstick layer on the dish with a brush or a finger, and the water turned the green (if it was expensive) or dark burgundy (if it was cheap) lipstick pigment into anything from pink to bright crimson, depending on the amount of water used.

The word uwa-uke is a Japanese word that is often written either 上受け or 上請け, though Issa simply uses phonetic hiragana symbols. Issa's collected works 4.460 gives mama ママ beside uwa-uke. This means sic, 'as it stands,' so uwa-uke must be the word Issa intended. The word means 'received (from) above,' 'placed on/upon.' In modern Japanese it is most commonly used for the English term FOB, 'Freight on board,' referring to freight being completely loaded onto a ship or train. It is also used in karate to refer to receiving an opponent's thrust from above in such a way that the opponent is thrown down onto the mat. In Issa's hokku it probably means that the dish is receiving or blessing and being blessed by snowflakes. The snow is not simply falling but is being received and accepted by the plate. Even if the actual season is winter, Issa uses "spring snow." If the season is winter, this would mean that the large wet flakes of snow were more like spring than winter snow.

Spring also suggests warmth, including the warmth of the woman who uses or used the dish and the implied warm water on her finger as she dissolves a little pigment to use on her lips. In Chinese, Korean, and Japanese, "spring" also commonly connotes love, sensual beauty, or even erotic attraction. The wet snowflakes must be turning the dry layers of lipstick on the dish a very bright crimson, creating a strong contrast with the snow, whose color suggests the white of Japanese makeup. This color combination would go together well if the hokku is a vision or a memory of Issa's dead wife, who is momentarily brought back to life either before his eyes or in his mind by the hot flare of red on the wet plate occasioned by the snow.

Chris Drake


The color red is first mentioned in Chinese chronicles, when Princess Himiko send woven robes at presents to the court.

kooseiken 絳青縑(こうせいけん)

The red color KOO 絳 was produced dying with akane red.

. RED in Japanese Culture


Picture Puzzles, Rebus Pictuers - hanji-e  江戸の判じ絵


Fukuro Daruma ふくろだるま

Present from my friend Ishino

source : lazy13.exblog.jp/page


手遊尽し Teasobi Tsukushi Prints by (歌川重宣)Utagawa Shigenobu

BOOKS about Daruma



1 comment:

anonymous said...

Korean Smallpox Deity

Smallpox Deity
The male smallpox spirit (Byeolsong) is similar to the previously mentioned disease goddess, however this god represents a more threatening disease, making it a male deity. Men who died on the battlefield or princes assassinated before they could be king qualified to become this male deity.

Examples of princes made into this deity are Prince Young-San, Prince Kwang-Hae, and Prince Sado-Saeja. These ghosts carry a sword or a bow and arrow, and use these weapons to carry out their vengeance. These male figures are often deified with frightening features so they could ward off disease demons. There is a female version of the Smallpox Spirit, called Hogu Assi.

quote and photo are here
Korean Art Society Newsletter Volume 1 Number 1, Summer 2009, Korean Shaman Art