The Five Festivals

(Go sekku, 五節句)

Publisher: Maru-ya Seijirô

c. 1843


This series shows beautiful women in scenes suggesting 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 86 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.  I am grateful to Robert Pryor for contributing to this series.



Title: Feast of the Seven Herbs (Mutsuk, 睦月)

Date: January 7th

Description: Beauty bouncing ball with herbs behind her



Title: Doll Festival (Yayoi, 弥生)

Date: March 3rd

Description: Woman digging for clams next to a giant anchor



Title: Boys’ Day (Satsuki, 早月)

Date: May 5th 

Description: Woman dressing small boy



Title: Star Festival (Fumitsuki, 文月)

Date: July 7th

Description: Woman holding a fan on a windy day



Title: Chrysanthemum Festival (Nagatsuki, 長月)

Date: September 9th (9th day of the 9th month)

Description: Woman with chrysanthemums





I am grateful to Jerry Vegder for this alternate state of the above design.


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