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An Up to Date Version of the legend of kan Tan
An old Chinese story once told that if a person lays down on a strange pillow that the master of an inn owns, that person would be able to predict the end of their life. Utamaro sets this woman in this story, and depicts that she is dreaming of becoming an aristocrat’s concubine. In the drawing, the woman holding a fan is sitting not on a pillow, but on a written work, and is chasing a never-ending dream. She is leaning over the desk, sitting with one knee drawn up, and has her eyes closed, completely absorbed in the dream. The woman’s figure presents the attractiveness of Utamaro’s work. Judging by the pattern of the hem, the woman represents kesen.