Yosha Bunko

Chōya shinbun
No. 1371a
Meiji 11-3-18 (1878-3-18) (otodoke)
Wife kills drunk husband

Story in brief

Kawakami Shōsuke, who lived in Kasaoka-machi in the province of Bingo in Hiroshima prefecture, and his wife, Haru, from around Meiji 2, had both been unfaithful. Though vowing to remain husband and wife until their hair got white, they continued to have difficulties. During Meiji 9, Shōsuke began drinking at lot and crazily carrying on with women. She cried, but he wouldn't listen, and he beat her. This continued, and he wouldn't stop, so she came to a decision. On the night of the 5th day of the 11th month of the 10th year of Meiji, while he was in his usual drunken stupor, she stabbed him once, deeply in the throat. He rose 7 times and fell 8 times, and when his breathing ended, with the same blade she stabbed her chest to die with him (). She was treated (reudzi Î ryōji), however, and after she recovered (zenkwai S񂭂킢 zenkai), on the this past 15th day, of the 3rd month of the 11th year of Meiji, [she was beheaded and] her head was exposed (kiyaushu kyōshu). (WW)



As his name suggests, the drawer, Toshinobu (NM 1857-1886), was a student of Yoshitoshi (FN). As noted in the publishing particulars shown in the lower right margin, was legally Yamazaki Tokusaburō (R蓿OY).

Toshinobu was 13 when he began to study under Yoshitoshi and 20 or 21 in 1878 when he drew the prints in the Chōya shinbun nishikie series. The Seinan War, which took place the year before, inspired numerous prints, including about 30 by Toshinobu. depicting scenes from the war.

At the time, Toshinobu was also working as an illustrator for Chōya shinbun, the name sake of the nishikie series. The prints were numbered according to the issues of the papers from which their stories were adopted, but they came out several months later, and in random order, and were probably independently published as souvenirs.

Though regarded as one of Yoshitoshi's most promising students, from about 1880 Toshinobu and Yoshitoshi had a falling out, partly over Toshinobu's drinking and carousing. Attempts by a third party to mend the relationship ultimately failed, as Toshinobu continued to be unstable. He reportedly even walked off with some of Yoshitoshi's manga sketches, and apparently a wanted notice was published in a newspaper under Yoshitoshi's name.

Toshinobu was only 28 or 29 when he died of pneumonia and meningitis in 1886.

Print information

Series: Chōya shinbun
Number: 1371a
Date: Meiji 11-3-18 (1878-3-18) (otodoke)
Publisher: Hayashi Kichizō (ыg)
Drawer: Yamazaki Toshinobu (Yamazaki Tokusaburō)
Carver: Unstated
Writer: Unstated
Size: Oban
Image: Yosha Bunko

Principal sources