Muraoka (村岡) from the series <i> Stories About The People In Recent Times</i> (<i>Kinsei Jinbutsu Shi</i> - 近世人物誌) - from Yamamoto Newspaper Supplement (やまと新聞附録)

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (月岡芳年) (artist 04/30/1839 – 06/09/1892)

Muraoka (村岡) from the series Stories About The People In Recent Times (Kinsei Jinbutsu Shi - 近世人物誌) - from Yamamoto Newspaper Supplement (やまと新聞附録)


Signed: Yoshitoshi (芳年)
Date: Meiji 20, 11th month, 13th day
Carver: 彫工國活
Hagi Uragami Museum of Art
National Diet Library
Waseda University
Ritsumeikan - in b & w
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Tokyo Metropolitan Library
University of Tokyo Library
Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery
Centre Céramique de Maastricht This print appeared as an insert into a newspaper on November 13, 1887.


Muroaka was a head mistress of House of Konoe (近衛家の老女村岡) who actively advocated against the government. This print was insert No. 14.


The text reads: やまと新聞附録第十四  近衛家の老女村岡  近衛家の老女村岡ハ,〓概の婦人なり、夙に朝威の振はざるを嘆きて恢復の志しあり安政五年幕府勅許を俟たずして外国と條約を結びしより近衛左府、鷹司右府、一條内府、三條前内府、二條〓相して、内勅?_ヒ黄門へ賜るの挙あり、村岡また其事に与かって力ありしといふ、偶々将軍温恭公甍ず、鷹司家の士小林民部水戸の臣安嶋帯刀と謀り、一橋形部卿を幕府に入れ以て攘夷の挙を実行せんと謀る事露ハる、時の大老井伊直弼、其臣長野主膳を京都に遣はし、朝紳及び在京の儒生等十数lを捕へて江戸に〓送す、岡村また其中に在り、世にこれを安政戌午の獄と言ふ、斯くて村岡ハ日々糾問を受たけれども更に屈する色なく滔々幕政の失を陳じて、幕吏の心を寒からしめしとかや、女丈夫と云ふべし



1) In color in The World of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (Tsukioka Yoshitoshi no Sekai - 月岡芳年の世界) by Susugu Yoshida, p. 84, #55.

2) In color in a full-page reproduction in Yoshitoshi: The Splendid Decadant by Shinichi Segi, p. 57.

3) In color in 原色浮世絵大百科事典 (Genshoku Ukiyoe Daihyakka Jiten), vol. 9, p. 80.

4) in color in Beauty & Desire in Edo Period Japan by Gary Hickey, National Gallery of Australia, 1998, fig. 36, p. 41.


The Scripps College curatorial file say:

"Edo period color woodblock print with an image of a woman, bound, with hair in her mouth. Over the two-year period from 1887 to 1888, Yoshitoshi produced his last and most accomplished set of "newspaper prints" as supplements to the Yamato newspaper. Muraoka (1786-1873) was a supporter of the loyalist faction that disagreed with the shogunate's new open-door policy. She was arrested and severely tortured in 1858 during the Ansei Purge. Her unbroken loyalty won her considerable acclaim once the shogunate fell. However, Yoshitoshi's depiction of Muraoka borders on sadomasochistic fantasy: bound with ropes she looks seductive rather than distressed, and she looks far younger than the seventy-or-more years she would have been at the time."


There had been a prohibition against portraying contemporary events prior to the Meiji Restorations. However, in the 1870s newspapers began to appear with some degree of impunity. Sarah E. Thompson noted in Undercurrents in the Floating World: Censorship and Japanese Prints on page 88 that a special kind of nishiki-e known as 'newspaper prints' also began to appear. "Although these prints derived their content from the newspapers, they were printed and sold separately. They may sometimes have been used as color supplements for the "small" newspapers aimed at a popular audience. A typical "newspaper print" included a logo with the name of the newspaper, a text derived from a recent article, and an artist's imaginary rendition of the scene. The articles selected for illustration were often tales of exemplary moral behavior, but they also included lurid crime scenes and even ghost stories related as factual events."
Meiji era (明治時代: 1868-1912) (genre)
Historical - Social - Ephemera (genre)