In 1615, a central fish market at Utsubo-chô near the northern approach to Kyô Bridge (and not far from Osaka Castle) was destroyed during the siege of the castle when Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616; 徳川家康) defeated Toyotomi Hideyori (1593-1615; 豊臣秀頼). It reopened that year, and later moved near the commoners' residential quarters in Kami Uoya-machi off the Higashi Yoko Canal. In 1769, nearly all fish sellers relocated to Sagashima on the Kizu River between the Edo and Kyômachi Canals. The area became known as the Zakoba-chô, where customers could purchase fish brought in from provinces along the Seto Inland Sea, as well as distant places such as Kyûshû and Shikoku.
This design comes from the series Naniwa jiman meibutsu zukushi (Boasting of Osaka specialties fully enumerated: 浪花自慢名物尽). A beauty wearing striped robes and a sakikorogai-mage hair style stands by a basket, probably meant to carry fish from the Zokoba.
The inset with the image of the fish is inscribed Zakoba ôshima chô [dai] (sea bream at the Zakoba fish market: ざこば魚嶋鯛).
The vast majority of Osaka prints feature theatrical subjects. Thus there exist only a small number of bijinga (pictures of beauties: 美人画) in the Osaka printmaking canon, as in the present series, made particularly interesting by the pairing of beauties with fashionable hairstyles and famous products in Osaka.
References: HSH, no. 173-4; OSP, no. 273