Yosha Bunko

Kakushu shinbun zukai no uchi
No. 6 (Ochikochi shinbun No. 27)
Circa Keio-4-5-30 (1868-7-19)
Shogitai widow

Story in brief

A government soldier helps a woman find her husband at the Battle of Ueno. They find him fallen where he had been struck by government fire. He had been a hatamoto samurai and had joined the Shogitai, a group of remnants of Tokugawa defenders and others who had made the hills to the northeast of Edo Castle their last stand against government forces. (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: 6
Source: Ochikochi shinbun No. 27, circa Keio-4-5-30 (19 July 1868)
Date: 1874-11 (seal)
Publisher: Seieido
Drawer: Sensai Eitaku (Kobayashi Eitaku)
Carver: Matsuzaki Ryukichi
Writer: Tentendo Dondon (Takabatake Ransen)
Size: Oban
Image: Yosha Bunko

Principal sources

Tsuchiya 2000