Utamaro is accredited with producing some 1900 designs for single sheet prints. About thirty per cent of these are directly related to the Yoshiwara quarter and scenes from the lives of the courtesans. These women were generally contracted into the profession for 10 years until their mid-20s. The degree of distortion and idealism which Utamaro brings to what has been described as the Yoshiwara courtesans' 'hell on earth' continues to be a central debate of Utamaro studies.
Here a client, still in bed, muses at a prostitute making herself up with the aid of a hand mirror and her attendant. The light hearted Kyoka poem above is by Ichi no Nakazumi. No other impressions of this design are currently recorded.