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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

熊谷県管下武州秩父郡久那村農高橋六兵衛と云ふ者の娘に
お節と云ふ者あり同郡般若村の何某へ嫁して子ども二人まである
中なるにただ名のミおせつにて節操もなき水性にやありけん兼て密(ひそか)に
語合(かたらふ)男ありて水もらさじと契りしが其男いかに思ひ当る事のありしにや或る
時いつまで斯る事をして世の譏りを受けんも恥(はづ)かしけれバ此後互ひにフツと思ひ
切りて人の誹(そし)りを免(まぬ)かるべしと云ふにお節はもはや吾が身の上に秋風の冷たき
心に替りしかと悔しさの余り忽まち剃刀(かミそり)を取り出し来りて彼の男の鼻を
根本よりグサリとそぎ落したりけるより
大騒(さわぎ)と成り遂に大宮支庁の審判を経て
お節は六十日入牢せし上に罰金を課(くわ)せ
られ男は杖七十にて落着せしが
何処にも鼻をしき次第
なりとて痛く悔(くや)し
がりしとぞ 


Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #420
 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)
 Signature
Keisai Yoshiiku (恵斎芳幾)
 Seal  see above - square artist seal likely reading Yoshiiku
 Writer of Text
 unknown
 Publication Date
December 29, 1874 戌十二
 Publisher
Gusokuya 具足屋 Kahei, Ningyōchō 人形町 [Marks: pub. ref. 085; seal ref. 24-031]
 Carver
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
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  vertical oban
 H x W Paper
 13 3/4 x 9 5/8 in. (34.9 x 24.4 cm)
 Literature

 Collections This Print
 Waseda University Library 10 08059 0027; Tokyo Metropolitan Library 008-C5-9; ARC Object No.国会109-03-048
last revision:
9/30/18
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