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Beauty Looking Back
The above stamps were issued on 29 November 1948 for “Philatelic Week”. They reproduce in photogravure a famous Japanese “UKIYOE” painting, “A Beauty Looking Back” by Hishikawa Moronobu, a noted artist of the Tokugawa Era. Below the stamp on the right in the sheet of 5 is the printer’ name. The painting is owned by the National Museum, Tokyo.

Moronobu belongs to the first phase of Ukiyo-e. He was a gifted painter, and an ingenious designer of both printed-book illustrations and single prints. He is credited with being the creator of the first wood-block single sheet print. His style was so distinguished that he inspired followers and imitators. His favorite subjects, and in the painting reproduces on the stamp, were reigning beauties of the world of courtesans, as well as actors and the life of the theatre and the Yoshiwara.