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Woman Cuts Off Lover's Nose

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Woman Cuts Off Lover's Nose

by Utagawa Yoshiiku, 1874

IHL Cat. #420

About This Print

At the top of this "news nishiki-e" is a banner held aloft by two cherubs containing the name of the sponsoring newspaper, the Tokyo nichinichi shinbun 東京日々新聞.   This print depicts a married woman with children cutting off her lover's nose with a razor when he talks of ending their affair.1

For a summary of the brief life of nishiki-e shinbun (newspaper color woodblock prints) see the article Nishiki-e shinbun and Newspapers in Meiji Japan.

1 website of William Wetherall www.nishikie.com

Story Translation (partial) by William Wetherall

Source: Nishiki-e Shinbun website of William Wetherall http://www.nishikie.com/stories/TNS-0892_cuts_off_lovers_nose.html
There was a woman named Osetsu, the daughter of Takahashi Rokubee, a farmer in Hisakuni village in Chichibu district of Bushu [Musashi province] under the jurisdiction of Kumagaya prefecture. She married into a certain family in Hannya village in the same district and there were two children. Osetsu in name only, she was a pillar of water with no setsudo [moderation]. And there was a man with whom she chatted in secret . . . . Mortified by talk of separation, she took a razor and cut his nose from the root and sliced it off. . . . Osetsu, in addition to being jailed for sixty days, was made to eat a fine. As for the man, he was calmed with seventy lashes, but . . . .

Japanese Transcription of Text

Source: University of Tokyo website http://www.lib.iii.u-tokyo.ac.jp/collection/ono_sn/22.html#N053


Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description  Woman Cuts Off Lover's Nose (八百九十二号 No. 892)
 Newspaper  Tokyo nichinichi shinbun 東京日々新聞
 Artist  Utagawa Yoshiiku (1833-1904)
Keisai Yoshiiku (恵斎芳幾)
 Seal  see above - square artist seal likely reading Yoshiiku
 Writer of Text
 Publication Date
December 29, 1874 戌十二
Gusokuya 具足屋 Kahei, Ningyōchō 人形町 [Marks: pub. ref. 085; seal ref. 24-031]
Horiei (ホリエイ)
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  fair - large brown stain across 2/3 of banner at top, top margin trimmed, 1/2 cut in top margin
 Genre  ukiyo-e; nishiki-e shinbun
 Format  vertical oban
 H x W Paper
 13 3/4 x 9 5/8 in. (34.9 x 24.4 cm)

 Collections This Print
 Waseda University Library 10 08059 0027; Tokyo Metropolitan Library 008-C5-9; ARC Object No.国会109-03-048
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