At the time this print was published around 1793 Ohisa was sixteen and working as a waitress at her father's teahouse, next door to his rice-cracker shop in Edo (Tokyo). Utamaro probably intended this portrait to complement one of similar design of Okita, the fifteen-year old waitress at the Naniwaya teahouse, another celebrated beauty and favorite subject of Utamaro. Both prints show the girls half-length below rectangular cartouches of calligraphy. These are printed with streaming blocks of color to simulate the painted backgrounds of poem-slips. The kyoka (light-verse) poem on this image is by Karabana no Tadaaya:
Aikyo mo Charms and tea are brimming over
cha mo tsutsu and neither gets cold!
samenunari Let me not wake
yoi hatsuyume no from this lucky dream of the New Year
Takashimaya tote at Takashimaya
(Translated by Asano Shugo and Timothy Clark, The Passionate Art of Kitagawa Utamaro [Tokyo and London: Asahi Shimbunsha and The Trustees of the British Museum, 1995], p. 120)
For other impressions see Shibui Kiyoshi, Utamaro, vol. 13 of Ukiyo-e zuten (Tokyo: Kazama Shobo, 1964), p. 46; Kikuchi Sadao, Utamaro, vol. 5 of Ukiyo-e taikei (Tokyo: Shueisha, 1973), pl. 25; Money L. Hickman, Bosuton bijutsukan 3/Museum of Fine Arts, Boston III, vol. 3 of Ukiyo-e shuka (Tokyo: Shogakukan, 1978), pl. 40; Oka Isaburo and Suzuki Juzo, Shikago bijutsukan 3/The Art Institute of Chicago III, vol. 6 of Ukiyo-e shuka (Tokyo: Shogakukan, 1987), pl. 87; and Asano and Clark, op. cit., pl. 106 (Musée National des Arts Asiatiques-Guimet, Paris).
Another impression was sold in these Rooms, Japanese Prints, Paintings, Illustrated Books and Drawings from the Collection of the late Theodor Scheiwe, Part I, 21 March, 1989, lot 78.