Yosha Bunko

Kakushu shinbun zukai no uchi
No. 1 (Yūbin hōchi shinbun No. 500)
Meiji 7-11-5 (1874-11-5)
Night school opens

Story in brief

The Meiji government has recently issued a proclamation that night schools should be opened to accommodate adults who want to study, including people unable to read or write, and older people too embarrased to study alongisde 6-year-olds, and indigent people who wish to learn. Whereupon people who might not have . A certain man whoA man beats together wooden clappers to promote the opening of a night school (WW)


Sensai Eitaku

Kobayashi Eitaku (1843-1890) was one of the most talented drawers of the Meiji period. The entire KSZU series, but especially this Shogitai print, shows an originality of composition and color seldom seen in contemporary woodblock prints.

Ono Hideo waxed almost elegant about the comparatively unknown Eitaku (Ono 1972:8-9).

Eitaku, whose real name was Kobayashi Shutaro, was born in Edo in the 14th year of Tenpo (1834). His family sold fish, but early on he studied the Kano Eitoku style of drawing and was patronized as a Kano-school drawer by the House of Ii of daimyo fame. Later he moved to Tokyo and turned to drawing pictures of customary life. After this, he drew customary scenes in the ukiyoe style, but he never lost his Kano-school methods. Compared with Utagawa-school drawings, his are said to lack softness.

However, compared with Yoshiiku who adopted bold colors, and with Yoshitoshi who imitated Hokusai-style lines, there is the added flavor of an oil painting in Eitaku's drawings. On this point, his drawings are totally different from those of the two Utagawa-school ukiyoe drawers.

Eitaku later worked as an illustrator for Eiri jiyu shinbun, and Ono says his newspaper line drawings showed the same tendencies toward realism and calmness. (WW)

Tentendo Dondon

The story on the print is signed Tentendo Dondon, who wrote all the stories in the KSZU news nishikie series drawn by Saisen Eitaku. Tentendo Dondon is a pen name of Takabatake Ransen. His most common name on woodblock prints appears to have been Tentendo Shujin. At times, but rarely, he signed a print as Takabatake Ransen, the name by which he was best known as a gesaku writer.

Print information

Series: Kakushu shinbun zukai no uchi
Number: 1
Source: Yūbin hōchi shinbun No. 500, Meiji 7-11-5 (1874-11-5)
Date: 1874-11 (seal)
Publisher: Seieido
Drawer: Sensai Eitaku (Kobayashi Eitaku)
Carver: Tani
Writer: Tentendo Dondon (Takabatake Ransen)
Size: Oban
Image: Yosha Bunko

Principal sources

Tsuchiya 2000