Narita Morikane, Engagement Band

Narita Morikane, Engagement Band detail

Narita Morikane, dates unknown

Twenty-Four Figures of Charming Women: Engagement Band (suggested title)
(Adesugata Nijushiko: Himo)

the series title at the upper right, Adesugata Nijushiko; signed below, Morikane, with artist's seal Morikane, publisher's mark Yamase and seal at lower left corner, Hanken shoyu fukyo fukusei, Shinbisha (copyright ownership, reproduction not allowed, Shinbisha), ca. 1931

dai oban tate-e 16 7/8 by 11 1/4 in., 42.8 by 28.6 cm

In Light and Darkness, Kendall Brown suggests that the nudes and semi-nudes of this type are likely geisha preparing for work, and as such, the title of this series (which references Confucian filial piety) may be a social commentary on the government's justification of prostitution as an act of filial sacrifice for Japan as the 'national' parent.

References:
Brown, Kendall, Light and Darkness: Women in Japanese Prints of Early Showa (1926-1945), p., 61, cat no. 67
Reigle Newland, Amy, and Hamanaka Shinji, The Female Image: 20th century prints of Japanese beauties, 2000, no. 202
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. 100, no. 197-1

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