Hiromitsu Nakazawa, ‘The Heroine Matsukaze, from the series Complete Works of Chikamatsu Manzaemon’, ca. 1922-1923, Japan Society Benefit Auction 2017

Courtesy of Scholten Japanese Art, New York

Born in Tokyo, Hiromitsu Nakazawa studied painting under Kuroda Seiki, the acclaimed artist best known for introducing French Impressionist painting and art theory to Japan. A proponent of the shin hanga (new woodblock print) movement, which sought to revitalize the traditional craft of the ukiyo-e print, he did not receive widespread attention until after World War II. His Heroine Matsukaze—more commonly referred to as Diver Girl—is his best known work, produced for a supplement of the book Dai Chikamatsu Zenshu (Complete Works of Chikamatsu Manzaemon), to which Nakazawa was one of eighteen contributors. The subject of the image is one of two sisters who fall in love with the famed 12th-century courtier Ariwara no Narihira during his exile to the seaside environs of Suma, where the young women live and work along the shore as brine-carriers.
Courtesy of Japan Society

Signature: with seal