Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper
H. 11 1/4 in. (28.6 cm); W. 8 1/8 in. (20.6 cm)
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Not on view
In an unusual display of vanity, Daruma, the founder of Zen Buddhism, extracts hairs from his chin with a tweezer as he leans over the edge of a boat, using the river as a mirror. The waves merge into the lines created by his reflection, and the ripple of water in front of the boat mimics his curled hand.
Ukiyo-e artists often parodied revered figures, particularly Daruma, as a means of exposing the hypocrisy of society. During the Edo period, the word daruma became a slang expression for a courtesan, and darumaya meant a brothel. Many prints portrayed Daruma with courtesans or courtesans as Daruma.
Signature: Suzuki Harunobu ga
Nagoya City Museum. "Ukiyo-e from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 14, 1995–May 28, 1995.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Graceful Gestures: Two Decades of Collecting Japanese Art," 2007.