Waseda University Library Rare Material Collections

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Sketch designated for illustration of
TOSEI SHOSEI KATAGI
by TSUBOUCHI Shoyo / Call Number: Bunko14-B67
TOSEI SHOSEI KATAGI: Bunko14-B67

TOSEI SHOSEI KATAGI

sketched by TSUBOUCHI Shoyo, 1 roll (24 X 33 cm.)
This rare piece is TSUBOUCHI Shoyo's own sketch designated for illustration of his novel "TOSEI SHOSEI KATAGI" (17 vols., 1885-1886). TSUBOUCHI sent such drafts to NAGAHARA Shisui, who was in charge of illustrations of the book. The Library owns, as part of its special collection "HONMA Hisao Bunko", three sketches of the author, entitled "Watermelon bust at school" (featured here), "Encounter at Ikenohata" and "Dream of the future".

In the style of sumie (monochromatic ink painting) with a witty touch, the sketches include detailed indications about properties and scenery ("Dream of the future" in vermillion, the others in black).

In the actual publication, "Encounter at Ikenohata" appeared in the chapter 6, and "Watermelon bust" in the chapter 9. With all minor changes such as in layout, it is observed that the illustrations were made almost exactly as TSUBOUCHI indicated in his sketches.

"TOSEI SHOSEI KATAGI" tells primarily a love story of KOMACHIDA Sanji and a geisha girl Tanoji, associated also with a romance of KOMACHIDA's close friend MORIYAMA with Kaodori, courtesan of Yoshiwara (prostitution quarter in Tokyo). Realistically depicting the student life of the time, the work pioneered the transition of a literary genre from gesaku (popular fiction in the Edo period) to shosetsu (modern novel). It can be said that this work was an embodiment of the theory developed by TSUBOUCHI in his "Shosetsu shinzui" ("The essence of the novel"). Besides, student conversations are mingled with a number of English words, interestingly reflecting the Westernization era of Japan.
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First drafted August 24, 1999
Last revised August 23, 2005