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Okada Saburosuke. 1869-1939.

The Heroine Osan in The Almanac Maker's Tale . c.1922. Dai oban. Image: 15 3/8 x 7 7/8 (sheet 17 3/4 x 11). Published in connection with the book, Dai Chikamatsu Zenshu Furoko Mokuhan (Woodblock Prints depicting Chikamatsu Monyaemon's collected Works) Publisher: Nishima Printed in tones of grey and beige. A sensitive study of a young woman. $550.

One of 18 prints published from 1922 to 1923 as part of the celebration of the two-hundredth anniversary of the death of Chikamatsu Manzaemon (1623-1724), perhaps the greatest dramatist in the history of the Japanese theater. Each design illustrates a scene or character from one of Chikamatsu's famous works. For more details on this series

While Osan's husband, the almanac maker, was absent in Edo, the maidservant, Tama, acted as an intermediary to arrange a love affair between her mistress and the clerk, Moemon. Osan became pregnant and when the result of her infidelity could no longer be concealed she fled to Tamba with Moemon. The fugitives were soon discovered, brought back to Kyoto and executed at Awataguchi, together with the maid

In 1897 Okada became the first Japanese artist to receive government sponsorship to travel overseas and to learn western painting techniques. He spent five years in Paris studying under Raphael Collin. Later becoming Professor at Tokyo Art School, a member of the Imperial Art Academy and was awarded The Order of Cultural Merit and The Order of the Sacred Treasure.

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Ukiyoe: Twentieth Century.

Allinson Gallery Index

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