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“Waitress with a Red Tray” by Goyō Hashiguchi

"Waitress with a Red Tray" by Goyō Hashiguchi

“Waitress with a Red Tray”

by Goyō Hashiguchi

“Waitress with a Red Tray” by Goyō Hashiguchi is a color woodblock print, from 1920’s Japan. The artist, Goyo, had a late calling to the traditional woodblock print after a career of illustration in other media. He was inspired by the old techniques and admiration for the great portraits of beautiful women by Kitagawa Utamaro (1753 – 1806). The extraordinary beauty and technical excellence have made his prints among the most sought-after Japanese prints.

Goyō Hashiguchi

Goyō Hashiguchi’s perfectionism led to him publishing only a handful of prints, each one technically excellent with a nostalgic passion for the art form. The exceptional wood cutting of the blocks to portray the intricacies of women’s hair was an Ukiyo-e tradition which Goyo has enthusiastically revived. The prints impact is also enhanced by him restricting his palette to a few primary colors. Hashiguchi had a short period of only two years to produce these superb masterworks before he died aged forty-two.

Goyo Hashiguchi was a samurai and a Shijo-style painter who was a perfectionist and who set up his own workshop a few years before his death. His standards were so high that most of his editions ran to no more than eighty prints. Goyo died having completed only 14 prints (13 plus 1 published by Watanabe), later members of Goyo’s family brought some of his unfinished works to completion.

Explore Goyō Hashiguchi

Waitress with a Red Tray

  • Title:                    Waitress with a Red Tray
  • Alternative:        Portrait of Onao, a Maid at the Matsuyoshi Inn, Kyoto
  • Japanese:            日本語: 「盆持てる女」
  • Artist:                  Goyō Hashiguchi
  • Published:          1920
  • Culture:               Japanese
  • Writing:               Japanese
  • Material:             Woodblock print on paper
  • Dimensions:      H: 39.9 cm (15.7 in); W: 26.7 cm (10.5 in)
  • Museum:            Walters Art Museum

Goyō Hashiguchi

Japanese Poetry


“I come weary,
In search of an inn—
Ah! these wisteria flowers!”

– by Matsuo Basho, 1688


“‘Tis the first snow—
Just enough to bend
The gladiolus leaves!”

– by Matsuo Basho, 1686


“An ancient pond!
With a sound from the water
Of the frog as it plunges in.”

– by Matsuo Basho, 1681


“’Twas the new moon!
Since then I waited—
And lo! to-night!”

– by Matsuo Basho, 1681


“The cry of the cicada
Gives us a sign
That presently it will die.”

– by Matsuo Basho, 1690


“There are no short cuts to any place worth going.”
– Japanese Proverb


Photo Credit: 1) Goyō Hashiguchi [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons