Japan art and Natori Shunsen: Tragedy of life

Japan art and Natori Shunsen: Tragedy of life

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times 

The Japanese woodblock printer, Natori Shunsen (1886-1960), was an esteemed artist of kabuki actor portraits. His love of kabuki portraits took off when he was an illustrator at Asahi Shimbun

Shortly after his birth, his family left Yamanashi Prefecture and relocated to Tokyo. At the age of eleven, he began to study under Kubota Beisen. Hence, he was taught the beauty of Nihonga art. This was followed by furthering his artistic skills a the Tokyo School of Fine Arts. 

The British Museum reports, “Contemporaries at his first school included the future ‘Nihonga’-style artists Kawabata Ryushi (1885-1966), Okamoto Ippei (1886-1948) and Okumura Dogyu (1889-1989).”

The Minami Alps Art Museum says, “As opposed to Yamato Koka who was another Ukiyo-e artist of the time, famous for the entertaining and bright expressions depicted in his Yakusha-e, Natori’s pieces had a more orthodox and realistic touch which carried a sort of unique depth to each person who viewed his works.”

Sadly, his life took a turn for the worse in the last few years of his life. This concerns Natori and his wife being heartbroken after the death of their daughter, who died from pneumonia when aged 22.

In time, her death engulfed them too much. Hence, full of sorrow and pain, they jointly committed suicide by the grave of their cherished daughter. One can only imagine how they felt when they took poison by her grave. 



Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

DONATIONS to SUPPORT MODERN TOKYO TIMES – please pay PayPal and DONATE to sawakoart@gmail.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com Modern Tokyo Times – International News and Japan News

http://sawakoart.com – Sawako Utsumi personal website and Modern Tokyo Times artist

https://moderntokyonews.com Modern Tokyo News – Tokyo News and International News


https://twitter.com/MTT_News Modern Tokyo Times



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.