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Mizushima Nihofu (Nihou) (1884-1958)

Prints in Collection

Woodblock Illustrations from the book Tōkaidō gojūsan-tsugi Setonaikai, 1920 


Illustration of the Dutchman Engelbert Kampferer’s Eastern Journey from the book Tōkaidō gojus̄an-tsugi Setonaikai
Illustration of the Dutchman Engelbert Kaempfer’s Eastern Journey 
IHL Cat. #2352

Sakanoshita, Suzuka Tōge from the book Tōkaidō gojus̄an-tsugi Setonaikai
Sakanoshita, Suzuka Tōge 
IHL Cat. #2353

Nissaka, Night Crying Stone from the book Tōkaidō gojus̄an-tsugi Setonaikai
Nissaka, Night Crying Stone 
IHL Cat. #2354

Osaka, Chikko from the book Tōkaidō gojus̄an-tsugi Setonaikai
Osaka, Chikko
IHL Cat. #2355

 
Himeji from the book Tōkaidō gojus̄an-tsugi Setonaikai
Himeji
IHL Cat. #2356
 
Tomo from the book Tōkaidō gojus̄an-tsugi Setonaikai
Tomo
IHL Cat. #2357

Yabakei from the book Tōkaidō gojus̄an-tsugi Setonaikai
Yabakei
IHL Cat. #2358
 
Beppu from the book Tōkaidō gojus̄an-tsugi Setonaikai
Beppu
IHL Cat. #2359


Sources: Wikipedia Japan https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%B0%B4%E5%B3%B6%E7%88%BE%E4%BF%9D%E5%B8%83Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975, Helen Merritt, University of Hawaii Press, 1992, p. 94 and as footnoted.

The artist at the age of 41
image source: cropped from photograph of artist
and family appearing in "The Ladie's Graphic", October 1925

Biography

Mizushima Nihofu 水島爾保布 (1884-1958)
(also seen romanized as Niō, Nihou and Niou)

Born on December 8, 1884 in Tokyo, Mizushima was a painter, illustrator, cartoonist, manga artist, novelist, playwright and essayist. The son of the writer and translator Mizushima Shinjirō 水島慎次郎, his own eldest son was the famous science fiction author Kyōdomari Aran 今日泊亜蘭 (1910-2008).

Mizushima graduated from the Japanese painting department of Tokyo Art School (now Tokyo University of the Arts) in 1909 and studied with the painter and illustrator Kubota Kinsen 久保田金僊 (1875-1954). In 1913 he became an illustrator for the newspaper Osaka Asahi Shinbun, where his baseball cartoons brought him popularity, and he would go on to illustrate for the Tokyo Nichinichi Shinbun. 

In 1916 he began working with the book publisher Bun'endō, contributing to the sketch-tour book Pictures in Famous Places in Osaka and Kobe 
(Hanshin meisho zue) and in 1920 he would illustrate and author the book
Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō  – The Inland Sea (Tōkaidō gojūsan tusgi – Setonaikai), which is considered to be the last major work of the sketch-tour genre. Along with Maekawa Senpan (1888-1960), Okamoto Ippei (1886-1948), Hiratsuka Un'ichi (1895-1997) and the fourteen other members of the Tokyo Manga Association he contributed to Tōkaidō gojūsantsugi manga emaki 東海道五十三次 漫画絵巻 published by Chūō Bijutsu Kyōkai in 1921 and consisting of 2 scrolls, each over 30 feet long and 10″ high, containing 55 paintings. 

As a book illustrator his drawings for Jun’ichirō Tanizaki's Ningyo no Nageki 人魚の嘆き (The Mermaid’s Lament) published by Shun'yōdō in August 1919 and the 1950 translation of the Chinese folk legend The Illustrated Journey to the West (繪本西遊記) stand out.

cover to The Mermaid's Lament: The Magician, written by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, pictures by Mizushima Nihofu
published by  Shun'yōdō, August 1919
7 1/2 x 10 1/3 in. 86 pages
人魚の嘆き・魔術師 谷崎潤一郎著 水島爾保布画 大正八年八月 春陽堂発行
190X262mm 86頁

covers for the three volumes of 
The Illustrated Journey to the West, 1950
translated by Yudate Yoshio 弓館芳夫, illustrations by Mizushima Nihofu, published by Toppan
繪本西遊記 上,中,下

He was active in the avant-garde movement belonging to groups such as the Kōjusha (Art Group) 行樹社 (1912-1917) and Daiichi-Sakka-Domei 第一作家同盟 (First Writers Alliance, or DSD).
Merritt notes, but I can find no other confirmation, that he "specialized in kamishibai (paper picture shows)" and that he was "possibly active with early sosaku hanga circles."
 
Examples of Artist's Manga
 
Taisho Reformation from Manga Paintings: Illustrations of Sixty Years of History Since the Founding of the Nation, 1927
12 x 16 5/8 in.
watercolor, published by Chūō Bijutsu Kyōkai
肉筆漫画開国六十年史図絵 大正改元 
30.5 × 42.2 cm

 
The [1896] Sanriku Tsunami from Manga Paintings: Illustrations of Sixty Years of History Since the Founding of the Nation, 1927
12 x 16 5/8 in.
watercolor, published by 
Chūō Bijutsu Kyōk
ai
肉筆漫画開国六十年史図絵 三陸大海嘯
30.5 × 42.2 cm
image source: Yamada Shoten https://www.yamada-shoten.com/onlinestore/detail.php?item_id=45348


Example of Artist's Japanese-Style Painting

Illustration of Chosei Bridge, undated
Chōsei-bashi no zu 長生橋之図
Nagoya Central Library
image source: Wikipedia 

Several Examples of the Artist's Signatures and Seals

 
爾保布 / 爾保布
Nihofu / Nihofu seal
 
爾 / 
Ni / Ni seal
 
unread
possibly "ni"




1 Other members included poet and literary critic Kawaji Ryuko 川路柳虹 1888-1959, the nihonga painter Katsuji Koizumi 小泉勝爾 (1883-1945), Kobayashi Gentaro 小林源太郎 1883-1951, painter and illustrator Itō Junzō 伊藤順三 (1890-1939).

last revision:
8/8/2020 created