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Swordsman from the series Stories by Chikamatsu Manzaemon

Identifier: 1923 Sohei chikamatsu manzaemon

"This dynamic image was included in a series of twelve prints published around 1923, the woodblocks of which were carved by Yamagishi Kazue and printed by Nishimura Kumakichi. Each work in the series was executed by a different artist, including... Kaburagi Kiyokata... Kitano Tsunetomi... Shima Seian [see Lyon Collection #s 74 and 1039] and Yamamura Kōka... The title of the series is not known, nor is the exact subject matter of each image, however, it does not appear to have followed a seasonal sequence as in another collaborative project between Yamagishi and Nishimura...

This print has been previously attributed to the writer Morita Sōhei (1881-1949). However, although Morita Sōhei was acquainted with a number of shin hanga artists such as Natori Shunsen... it is doubtful that he himself designed prints. The style of this print and part of the signature is instead similar to a print by the little known artist, Yamaguchi Sōhei, entitled Memorial portrait of the actor Nakamura Ganjirō, which was published by the Osaka publisher, Yamagiya, in 1935."

Quoted from: The New Wave: Twentieth-century Japanese Prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection, p. 168.

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