Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Kitagawa Utamaro, 1753–1806
The star-crossed lovers Ohan and Choemon
ca. 1795
Woodblock color print
H: 70; W: 12 cm
The Jacob Pins Collection in the Israel Museum
Accession number: B01.0500
The wealthy parents of Ohan forbid her to marry the poor Choemon. When Ohan’s parents lose their fortune, she sells herself to a bordello to pay off their debts. The desperate Choemon resorts to robbery and murder to obtain the money to buy Ohan’s freedom. However, he is caught and executed. The distraught Ohan escapes from the walled Pleasure Quarter and commits suicide on Choemon’s grave.

The Jacob Pins Collection: Japanese Prints, Paintings, and Sculptures, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1994

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir