Ishikawa Toraji Springtime of Life

Ishikawa Toraji, 1875-1964

Ten Types of Female Nudes: Springtime of Life (Youth) with Keyblock Proof
(Rajo jusshu: Seishun)

a nude moga (modern girl) stands before a red lacquer vanity, the entire grey background embellished with mica, she adjusts her short pin curls and a blue flower at the nape of her neck; signed in sumi ink Ishikawa with artist's red seal Tora, block carver's seal at lower left margin, Yamagishi Kazue to, and with artist's watermark on bottom margin, Ishikawa Toraji; published by the artist (first edition), ca. 1934-35

obaiban tate-e 19 by 14 3/4 in., 48.4 by 37.5 cm
keyblock proof 18 7/8 by 14 5/8 in., 48 by 37.3 cm

This thoroughly modern beauty regards herself boldly while standing before a half-length mirror within an interior that is furnished in a noticeably Western style. With his obvious embrace of the moga (modern girl) with crimped and bobbed hair all lounging in cozy settings decorated with upholstered cushions with tufts, ruffles and fringes, and plush throw rugs or wallpapered walls, the Ten Types of Female Nudes series caught the attention of the Japanese authorities when it was released in 1934. It may not have been just the fact that the figures were nudes, but that they were decidedly not traditional Japanese women in a traditional Japanese setting that made the series stand out. As a result, the government banned the series as part of a campaign for the National Spiritual Mobilization Movement (Kokumin Seishin sodoin Undo).

Brown, Kendall, Light and Darkness: Women in Japanese Prints of Early Showa (1926-1945), p. 75, cat. 83
Reigle Newland, Amy, and Hamanaka Shinji, The Female Image: 20th century prints of Japanese beauties, 2000, p. 172, no. 242
Nihon no hanga IV 1931-1940, Munakata Shiko tojo (Japanese Prints IV, 1931-1940, The Debut of Munakata), Chiba City Museum of Art, 2004, p. 108, no. 212-2


accompanied by keyblock proof


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site last updated
October 28, 2021

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475