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Book Illustration: Sayama Motosuke from the novel The Gold Demon

Igawa Sengai (1876-1961)

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Book Illustration: Sayama Motosuke

from the novel The Gold Demon

by Igawa Sengai, 1920

Ichikawa Sanshō in the role of Soga Gorō in the Play Uirō from the series Collection of Creative Print Portraits by Shunsen

IHL Cat. #1641

About This Print

One of eight prints, seven of which are woodblock prints, appearing in the 1920 pocket edition (shukusatsu 縮刷), published by Shunyōdō 春葉堂, of the famous novel The Gold Demon 金色夜叉 by the popular novelist and poet Ozaki Kōyō 尾崎紅葉 (1868-1903). The eight prints illustrate characters from the novel and are shown below.

Sengai's illustration, shown immediately below with its facing page, is that of the character Sayama Motosuke, the true love of O’Shizu (really Aiko of the Kashiwaya geisha house), who makes a suicide pact with her.  Pictured are the rings they exchanged the night of their planned suicide, which was interrupted by the novel's main character, Kan’ichi.

Ozaki Kōyō (1868-1903)

Ozaki Kōyō, born in Tokyo, became a novelist at an early age, publishing his first novel Love Confessions of Two Nuns (Ninin bikuni irozange) in 1889.  His subsequent novels were all serialized by the newspaper Yomiuri shinbun which Ozaki was the literary editor for.  When he died in 1903, his most successful novel The Gold Demon was not yet complete, although already in serialization.  This work was "re-written" and translated into English by A. and M. Lloyd in 1905 and can be found online at: 

The Eight Prints

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1641
 Title/Description Sayama Motosuke from the novel The Gold Demon
 Series One of eight prints by eight different artists appearing as illustrations in the pocket edition of the novel The Gold Demon.
 Catalogue Raisonné not shown
 Igawa Sengai (1876-1961)
 洗厓 sengai
 Date 大正9年5月15日 May 15, 1920 [as noted in books colophon]
 Publisher 春葉堂 Shunyōdō
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent - removed from the book
 Miscellaneous The National Institute of Japanese Literature shows that this edition of book was its 45th printing.
 Genre 挿画 sōga; ehon [book illustration]
 Format Koban
 H x W Paper 6 5/16 x 3 5/16 in. (16 x 8.4 cm)
 H x W Image 5 3/8 x 3 1/16 in. (13.7 x 7.8 cm)
 Collections This Print National Institute of Japanese Literature as part of their holding call number 近代文学文庫/11292. Eleven images from their holding can be seen at: http://base1.nijl.ac.jp/infolib/meta_pub/G0000203KDS_YMNK-00550
 Reference Literature