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Mu Tamagawa (The Six Jewel Rivers), Kinuta Tamagawa
(c. 1795–96), Kitagawa Utamaro
The subject of the six rivers and their associated classical poems was not favoured by painters, but was popular among Edo printmakers in Japan. Their treatments included both representations and allusion pictures, in which beautiful women – presumably courtesans – were depicted in appropriate settings. This characteristic Utamaro beauty is reading from a 12th-century poem by Minamoto no Toshiyori.