Shimura Tatsumi
From Hanga Gallery: Tatsumi Shimura is known for designing several striking bijin-ga prints towards the end of the Shin Hanga movement. Born in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, Shimura's real name was Sentaro Shimura. He lived in Yokohama from 1910 and in 1921 he began studying art with Yamakawa Saiho, a well-known designer. In 1924 he became an apprentice of Yamakawa Shuho (Saiho's son), who was also a bijin-ga artist. Shimura exhibited paintings with Kyodotai in 1927 and with Seikinkai in 1938. He became known for his paintings of beautiful women with long eyelashes and blurred pupils. As a young man, Tatsumi also worked as an illustrator for newspapers, serialized novels, and magazines, notably for the Japanese magazine "Woman's world" (Fujokai). His most famous illustrations were for the novel Tange Sazen by Hayashi Fubo. From 1948 to 1952, Shimura designed several woodblock prints of beauties that were published by Kato Junji. Later he collaborated with the Japanese Institute of Prints to create a series called "Five Figures of Modern Beauties" (Gendai bijin fuzoku gotai). These prints were published in 1953 in editions of 200. They depict Japanese women in traditionally feminine poses and attire. The finely detailed figures are juxtaposed against very simple backgrounds. "Late Summer" cleverly alludes to Hokusai's famous ukiyo-e print Red Fuji pictured on the woman's fan. After a solo exhibition on his sixtieth birthday in 1967, Shimura devoted his career entirely to Nihonga, or Japanese style painting.


Miscellaneous prints

Shimura Tatsumi - Short Sleeve Kimono
Shimura Tatsumi
Short Sleeve Kimono
1970s/80s



Two Subjects of Japanese Women

Shimura Tatsumi - Akashi-Cho Shimura Tatsumi - Lipstick Shimura Tatsumi - Lipstick Shimura Tatsumi - Lipstick
Shimura Tatsumi
Akashi-Cho
Two Subjects of Japanese Women, Vol. 2

1980s

Shimura Tatsumi
Lipstick
Two Subjects of Japanese Women, Vol. 2

1980s

Shimura Tatsumi
Brochure
Two Subjects of Japanese Women, Vol. 2

c. 1980

Shimura Tatsumi
Brochure
Two Subjects of Japanese Women, Vol. 2

c. 1980

Shimura Tatsumi - Snow Shimura Tatsumi - Haori Shimura Tatsumi - Haori Shimura Tatsumi - Album
Shimura Tatsumi
Snow
Two Subjects of Japanese Women, Vol. 1

c. 1980

Shimura Tatsumi
Haori
Two Subjects of Japanese Women, Vol. 1

c. 1980

Shimura Tatsumi
Brochure
Two Subjects of Japanese Women, Vol. 1

c. 1980

Shimura Tatsumi
Album
Two Subjects of Japanese Women, Vol. 1

c. 1980



Five Figures of Modern Beauties

Caution: prints from what I consider is probably an open (= unlimited) edition are often sold as being from the limited edition strikes. A true limited edition print by Tatsumi will have either the edition number written on the print, or will have two thin red seals in the margins. I currently know of four confirmed limited-edition printings. The first three have edition sizes of 150, 200, and 300 prints, and are all pencil-editioned and contain a round red seal in the bottom margin of each print, while a fourth edition of 300 prints is pencil-signed and editioned by Tatsumi at the left of the bottom margin and does not contain the red round seal (see images below). There is also a 5th edition that does not contain edition numbering, but contains either one or two thin red rectangular seals in the margins. This is one of the earliest editions (probably the 1953 first edition) and with little doubt a limited edition. There is also a 6th edition which I consider to be an open (non-limited) edition. Prints from this open edition are quite common and I suspect were published much more recently. So to conclude, there appears to be at least six editions of this series. 2012: A dealer in Tokyo is currently selling a full set of the 300-print edition (pencil-signed and editioned, no red seal) that dates to 1980.

At least two carvers and three printers appear on prints from this series, the carvers being Yashita Tadashichi (on the early editions) and Nakagawa Chushichi (newer editions), and the three printers being Ito Shuntaro and Inomura Masanosuke/Shonosuke (early editions), and Onodera Ryuji (newer editions).

See the edition comparison image below for visual identification of each edition (click on the image for an even larger example). I also provide a 'confusion matrix' of printer and carver seals for each edition. If you have further information regarding this series, and in particular, high-res scans of prints, and literature that may have accompanied the prints (brochures, album case, etc.), I'd love to hear from you.

Shimura Tatsumi - Dancing Girl (Maihime) Shimura Tatsumi - Playing Battledore (Oibane) Shimura Tatsumi - Reflection in a Mirror (Marumage - Natsu) Shimura Tatsumi - Falling Cherry Blossoms (Hanafubuki)
Shimura Tatsumi
Maihime (Dancing Girl)
Five Figures of Modern Beauties

Limited edition 93/300
1953

Shimura Tatsumi
Oibane (Playing Battledore and Shuttlecock)
Five Figures of Modern Beauties

Limited edition 93/300
1953

Shimura Tatsumi
Marumage - Natsu (Reflection in a Mirror)
Five Figures of Modern Beauties

Limited edition 93/300
1953

Shimura Tatsumi
Hanafubuki (Falling Cherry Blossoms)
Five Figures of Modern Beauties

Limited edition 93/300
1953

Shimura Tatsumi - Late Summer (Natsu Takete) Shimura Tatsumi - Series Information
Shimura Tatsumi
Late Summer (Natsu Takete)
Five Figures of Modern Beauties

Limited edition 93/300
1953

Shimura Tatsumi
Series Information
1953


Edition Comparisons

Edition Confusion Matrix

Edition Maihime
(Dancing Girl)
Oibane
(Playing Battledore)
Marumage
(Reflection in a Mirror)
Hanafubuki
(Falling Cherry Blossoms)
Natsu Takete
(Late Summer)
"Two Thin Seals"
"One Thin Seal"
(separate editions?)
Carver: Yashita Tadashichi
Printer: Inomura Masanosuke
Carver: Yashita Tadashichi
Printer: Inomura Masanosuke
Carver: Yashita Tadashichi
Printer: Inomura Masanosuke
Carver: Yashita Tadashichi
Printer: Inomura Masanosuke
Carver: Yashita Tadashichi
Printer: Inomura Masanosuke
150 (red round seal) Carver: Nakagawa
Printer: Onodera
200 (red round seal) Carver: Nakagawa
Printer: Onodera
Carver: Nakagawa
Printer: Onodera
Carver: Nakagawa
Printer: Onodera
Carver: Nakagawa
Printer: Onodera
300 (red round seal, no signature) Carver: Nakagawa
Printer: Onodera
Carver: Nakagawa
Printer: Onodera
300 (artist pencil-signed)
Published in 1980
Carver: Nakagawa
Printer: Onodera
Carver: Nakagawa
Printer: Onodera
Carver: Nakagawa
Printer: Onodera
Carver: Nakagawa
Printer: Onodera
Carver: ?
Printer: ?
Open ed. 1
(Recent?)
Carver: Nakagawa
Printer: Onodera
Carver: Nakagawa
Printer: Onodera
Carver: Nakagawa
Printer: Onodera
Carver: Nakagawa
Printer: Onodera
Carver: Nakagawa
Printer: Onodera
Open ed. 2
(Old?)
Carver: Yashita Tadashichi
Printer: Ito Shuntaro
Carver: Yashita Tadashichi
Printer: Inomura Masanosuke


Click on the image below for a detailed view of the seals.


Battledore

Note: Here is yet again another variant edition -- the print "Battledore". This print contains neither edition information nor the two thin red seals, so one would expect the carver and printer to be Nakagawa and Onodera respectively. However, on close inspection one finds that the carver is Yashita Tadashichi (carver for the "two thin seals" edition) and the printer is Ito Shuntaro.


Shimura Tatsumi 200 limited edition set five figures

Here is an example of the 200-print edition. Note the green canvas series case. The green case was used for both the 200 and 300-print editions.




Literature sources used for artist biographies:

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©Dr Ross F. Walker.