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Ōkuma, Prime Minister

Sumizō as Hōkaibō

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Ōkuma, Prime Minister

by Ogawa Hyōe, 1915

IHL Cat. #849

About This Print

One of seven prints by Ogawa Hyōe that appeared in the magazine Shin Nigao. Although the primary purpose behind the magazine was to advertise the Kabuki theater and renew interest in actor prints, five prints in the last issue, issue #5, of the magazine portrayed individuals involved in the month-long celebrations of Emperor Yoshihito's (Emperor Taishō) enthronement in November 1915 This portrait is that of Japanese statesman and prime minister Ōkuma Shigenobu.

For more information on this short-lived magazine whose purpose was to advertise the Kabuki theater and renew interest in actor prints, see the article Shin Nigao Magazine.

Ōkuma Shigenobu (大隈 重信, 11 March 1838 – 10 January 1922)

Source: websites of Japan Reference http://www.jref.com/japan/history/biographies/okuma_shigenobu.shtml and wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%8Ckuma_Shigenobu

Born in Saga, Hizen Province (modern day Saga Prefecture), he studied Confucian literature as well as Dutch studies (rangaku [蘭學 kyūjitai, literally "Dutch Learning", or by extension, 蘭学 shinjitai, "Western Learning"]). In Nagasaki, Ōkuma met a Dutch missionary named Guido Verbeck who taught him English and Dutch language and who exposed him to Western ideas and Christianity.

He became a statesman in the Empire of Japan and the 8th (30 June 1898 – 8 November 1898) and 17th (16 April 1914 – 9 October 1916) Prime Minister of Japan. Ōkuma was also an early advocate of Western science and culture in Japan, and founder of Waseda University.

His second term as prime minister in 1914 saw Japan entering World War I and imposing the Twenty-one Demands to China. After political scandals involving members of his administration Ōkuma finally resigned in 1916 and returned to Waseda University. He died in 1922.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #848
 Title  Ōkuma [Shigenobu], Prime Minister
大隈内閣總理大臣 Ōkuma naikaku sōri daijin [as written in table of contents for issue 5 - [see image in Miscellaneous below]

 Ōkuma Chief Minister
大隈主相 [as printed on page print was originally tipped into - see below]
 Magazine  Shin Nigao (New Portraits) volume five 新似顔 第一年五編
 Ogawa Hyōe (active c. 1915) 
 not signed on print. 小川兵衛 畫 printed on page print was originally tipped to.

 Date  November 1915
 Edition  First and only edition printed in magazine Shin Nigao
 Publisher  Nigaodō 似顔洞
 Carver  Igami Bonkotsu (1875-1933)
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  excellent
notation on verso
right column: 大隈?桐
left column: Ogawa Hyōe 小川兵衛
Shin Nigao #5 Table of Contents - entry for this print
 Genre  shin hanga (new prints); nigao-e
 Format  Koban
 H x W Paper  7 1/4 x 4 1/2 (18.4 x 11.4 cm) 
 Collections This Print  National Gallery of Australia NGA 2015.600; The British Museum 1991,1112,0.193.5 (entire magazine, only front cover shown); Art Research Center Ritsumeikan University BM-SJ193-05  (British Museum's copy of entire magazine with all pages shown)
 Reference Literature
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