Artist: Shima Seien (島成園)

Print: The heroine Yūgiri from the play 'Yūgiri and the Straits of Naruto' Yūgiri Awa no Naruto [夕霧阿波鳴渡]

Bookmark and Share
Dates: created,1922
Dimensions: Overall dimensions
Medium: color woodcut

Signed: Seien (成園)

Related links: Harvard Art Museums; Waseda University; National Museum of Asian Art;

Physical description:

This print is also known as "The Departed Spirit of a Courtesan" and "Ghost of Courtesan". It was published in The Complete Works of Chikamatsu (Dai Chikamatsu zenshū.

Shima Seien was one of the very few female artists in pre-World War II Japan. She was not without her critics. Kishida Ryūsei (岸田 劉生: 1891-1929), after seeing Seien's works at a couple of exhibitions, wrote about her "women like ghosts" (obake no yō na onna)."

The carver may have been Yamagishi Kazue.


The play was first staged in 1712 - probably for the puppet theater.


Illustrated in color in The Female Image: 20th century prints of Japanese beauties, Abe Publisher, 2000, #124, p. 97.