Poppen o fuku musume (Young lady blowing on a poppin) -Utamaro

Published by Hiromi Nishiwaki on

Poppen o fuku musume (Young lady blowing on a poppin). From the series of

Fujin Sōgaku Jittai and Fujo Ninsō Juppin

Ukiyo-e print shows a young woman, half-length portrait, turned to the left, blowing into a toy. Color woodcut by Kitagawa Utamaro.

 1790. Modern reprint, between 1918 and 1923. From the Japanese Fine Prints Collection at the Library of Congress

Popen o Fuku Musume

In Popen o Fuku Musume (ポペンを吹く娘, "Young woman blowing a poppen glass"), a young woman plays with a popen
a glass toy that changes sounds depending on whether the breath is blown or sucked through it; the change makes an onomatopoeic po–pen sound.
It was an exotic type of toy a sheltered girl from a respectable family could have innocent fun with; she is likely the daughter of a wealthy merchant family. To Japanese art historian Tadashi Kobayshi, "Utamaro has marvelously captured her just when she seems about to achieve a more mature, voluptuous beauty but has yet to lose the innocence and naïveté of childhood.

The young woman wears a furisode—a type of kimono worn by young unmarried women. It has a design of scattered cherry blossoms over a red-and-white checkered pattern.


Hiromi Nishiwaki

Office Flora "JAPANOPHILE " Promotion was founded as a Japanese culture Research firm in 2017. We provide exciting information on Japanese Art and Culture and offer intellectual excitements though the prism of Hiromi Nishiwaki. We provide deep insights about Japanese traditional culture and Art from a Western perspective while keeping the core concepts from the Japanese Spiritual and traditional values intact. Our mission is to contribute to world happiness and prosperity.

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