Beautiful Women Dressed in Kimono with Benkei-style Pattern: Ataka's Pine (Shimazoroi Onnabenkei Atakanomatsu)
Painted by Utagawa Kuniyoshi 1844 (Tempō 15) Tokyo Shiryō Collection K662-20-9

This work depicts "Matsugazushi", which was popular as the most luxurious sushi restaurant, located in Fukagawa Ataka Rokkenbori, Edo (present day Shin-ōhashi, Kōtō ward). An adorable child is shown asking for hand-rolled sushi.

Nigirizushi (rolled sushi) originated in the Bunsei period (1818-1830) and it is said that Yohei Hanaya of "Yoheizushi" in Ryōgoku or Matsugorō Sakaiya of "Matsugazushi" in Ataka in this picture invented that sushi. Especially, sushi made by Matsugorō Sakaiya gained great popularity since the Bunsei period as luxurious sushi used for gifts.
he origin of sushi was "narezushi", which is spontaneously-fermented rice for preservation. In the middle of the Edo period, "hayazushi", in which vinegar is added to rice, appeared and then "nigirizushi" in the latter period of the Edo. In Edo, people cooked fresh fish and shellfish from the sea and put this on rolled, vinegered rice. After that, "nigirizushi" widely spread as it was loved by many in Edo and the opportunity to eat "narezushi", which was major sushi until then, decreased.