Height: 696.000 mm
Width: 852.000 mm
Gaston Petit Collection
Asia JA 1986.3-21.0494
Mori Yoshitoshi, Mie o kiru ('Posturize'), a stencil print
Shōwa era, AD 1967 (16/50)
'Wait a moment!'
The prints of Mori Yoshitoshi (1898-1992) show influences from a number of different stages in his life. In his early years, through his aunt, he came into contact with Kabuki theatre in the Nihombashi district of Tokyo. He also became interested in stencils through his work as a textile designer using stencil dyeing techniques. His textile work brought him in touch with the mingei ('folk crafts') movement where he met the print artist Munakata Shikō (1903-75).
This stencil print is a depiction of the shibaraku ('wait a moment!') scene - one of the most famous in all Kabuki drama. The hero, Kamakura no Gongorō Kagemasa, appears in the nick of time to thwart the villain Kiyohara no Takehira. The part of Kagemasa is always played by a member of the Ichikawa actor family.
Mori uses two stencils: the base is red-ochre over which a black stencil is printed. The black contains an adhesive to give it the appearance of shiny black lacquer used in the popular eighteenth-century urushi-e ('lacquer prints'). The paper is specially textured hosokawa-gami from Sendai. It is made from mulberry, with the bark fibres standing out conspicuously on the surface.
L. Smith, and V. Harris, Modern Japanese prints, 1912-1 (London, The British Museum Press, 1994)