The name of the painting is “The Elderly Couple Jo and Uba Spirits of the Pine Tree with Rake for Collecting Pine Needles.
The author is Chosui Yabu Japanese ukiyo-e artist working from 1830 until 1864 .
Uba is the Japanese Goddess of fidelity. She is the spirit of a pine tree in Takasago, which was paired with a pine tree across the sea in Sumiyoshi, whose spirit, Jo, became Uba’s husband. The pair had a long and happy marriage, even though they were separated by the sea. In the Noh play Takasago, Uba and Jo are seen tending to their trees, Uba with a broom and Jo with a rake. The long lives and evergreen nature of pine trees are symbolic of the longevity of their marriage. Uba’s name means “old woman.”
Merry Christmas to Jo and Uba.