Published by Hirooka Kosuke in name of Nipposha
Copped and cropped from Tsuchiya 2000 (CD-ROM)

Tokyo nichinichi shinbun
Unnumbered (TNS 9002)

Incident 1874-5-21 (1874-10x)
Nipposha Taiwan kiji / Sekimonko shosen no zu
Battle at Stonegate 2
Trophy heads

As the title states, this triptych was published as a "Nipposha Taiwan article / Picture of victorious battle at entrance of Stonegate". Another Battle of Stonegate triptych, in the main TNS nishikie series, shows the skirmish in progress. See Battle at Stonegate 1: Raw savages.

Story in brief



Anomally in TNS series

Though flying the familiar Tokyo nichinichi shinbun banner, this triptych is not, strictly speaking, part of the Tonichi series of news nishikie published by Gusokuya. Its title cartouche declares it to be a "Nipposha Taiwan article" for good reason -- it was published by Hirooka Kosuke, one of Nipposha's founders.

As such, this would seem to be the only Tonichi new nishikie that published not only in the name of the newspaper, but in the name of the company that owns it -- and was published by one of the founders of both. This is clear from the name on the seal that appears below the aratamein [approval seal].

The aratamein tells us that, in October 1874, the publisher received permission to publish the print. Right below this approval seal is a seal reading "Hiroko" (広幸), which makes sense only if read as an abbreviation of "Hirooka Kosuke" (広岡幸助), the publishing brain on the team that set up Nipposha and started the Tonichi in 1872.

Hirooka Kosuke, who had published woodblock prints with Ochiai Yoshiiku and Jono Denpei (Sansantei Arindo) during the 1860s, continued to publish woodblock prints after founding the newspaper with these two men -- who also continued to ply their artisan trades as drawer and writer.

Writer and drawer

The writer of the article was Tentendo Shujin, better known as Takabatake Ransen, who at the time was both a writer of fiction and a staff writer for Tokyo nichinichi shinbun. The picture was drawn by Ikkeisai Yoshiiku, otherwise known as Ochiai Ikujiro, one of Tonichi's founders and the drawer of all prints in the main TNS series.

Unlike the articles on the vast majority of Stage 1-3 TNS prints, however, and despite its claim to be an "article" related to Nipposha, this Stage 4 print does not appear to have been based on a particular Tonichi story. See "TNS Four Stages" under Articles for further details.