The Five Festivals

(Go sekku no uchi, 五節句乃内)

Publisher: Ezaki-ya Kichibei

c. 1840


This series shows beautiful women with insets depicting one of the five festivals.  The five festivals are Jinjitsu (January 7) Feast of the Seven Herbs or Mankind’s Day; Johshi (March 3) Doll Festival or Girls’ Day; Tango (May 5) Boys’ Day; Tanabata (July 7) Star Festival or Seventh Night; and Choyo (September 9) the Chrysanthemum Festival. The series is listed as number 133 in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1961).  The prints are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ôban.


Mutsumashitsuki (First month), from Gosekku no uchi (Five festivals)


Festival: Mutsumashi-tsuki (first month)

Description: Woman holding a painting of bamboo


Kuniyoshi - The Five Festivals (Go sekku no uchi, R133), Hidden Moon Month (5th)


Festival: Tango (Boys’ Day), here written as Hidden Moon Month (Yuu minu tsuki, 月みぬ月)

Description: Beauty with a boy and flags


NOTE: The inset shows a fish-shaped flag



Another state of the above design with a different kimono pattern and Go sekku no uchi written as 五節句の内

The Five Festivals (Go sekku no uchi, R133),Tanabata


Festival: Tanabata (star festival, いやおひ月)

Description: Standing beauty



Festival: Choyo (Chrysanthemum Festival, 菊月)

Description: Standing beauty holding paper




Festival: Feast of the Seven Herbs or Mankind’s Day (Johshi)

Description: Standing beauty with a letter in her mouth with a mat and a cat

Yoshitora -  Five Seasonal Festivals, July


This print by Yoshitora is similar to the above series.  It is published by Kaga-ya Yasubei and dates from c. 1858-1859.  The text reads Five Seasonal Festivals (五節句内)


“Robinson” indicates listing in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson, 1961, Victoria and Albert Museum, London.