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Contemporary Way of Raising Children
The picture illustrates two women struggling with a mischievous young child who is holding a fan bearing the illustration of a famous kabuki actor, quoting Juppen Shaiku’s poem: “My child is so mischievous. She is worse than an ogre during a setsubun-ritual.” This work was completed in around 1804 (Bunka 1). Around this period, Utamaro illustrated more pictures of children. In this year, Utamaro was in jail and received the penalty of being handcuffed for 50 days because of his work based on the taiko-ki. By the end of his punishment, he was mentally and physically exhausted. Regardless of his circumstances, he managed to effectively illustrate this scene of the two women and one child with a balanced structure.