Thirty-two Aspects of Customs and Manners
This series of 32 prints was published by Tsunashima Kamekichi in 1888. It depicts a chronological survey from the Kansei era (1789-1800) to the Meiji era (1860-1912) of women of different backgrounds and occupations, each associated with a particular mood or character trait. The word for 'Aspect' or 'Type' or 'Appearance' (sô) had been famously used by earlier artists such as Utamaro and Kunisada. It was a technical term borrowed from physiognomists who analysed character on the basis of physical facial features. It could also mean 'flower', referring to bijin (female beauties).