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70508-0009 - Takeo and Namiko


Ishikawa Taisho 1920s Unknown

Hikifuda (引札), a print used as an advertising flyer by local shops. They were popular from the 1800s through the 1920s.

This print shows Takeo and Namiko, two characters from the incredibly popular novel Hototogisu (不如帰), written by Kenjiro Tokutomi (徳富 健次郎 aka Roka Tokutomi, 1868-1927), a novelist of the Meiji Period (1868-1912). The scene is set in Shioya-cho, Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture (石川県金沢市塩屋町).

Tokutomi started his writing career when his brother, a journalist and historian, started publishing Japan’s first general-interest magazine.

They parted ways in 1900 (Meiji 33) after Tokutomi’s successful debut with his novel Hototogisu, first published in serialized form between 1898 and 1899 (Meiji 31~32). The novel was translated and published in English as ‘Nami-Ko, A Realistic Novel’ in 1905 (Meiji 38).

Hototogisu tells how horrendous parental interference based on outdated traditional ideas ruins the young marriage of Takeo and Namiko.

“Pitiful are Takeo and Namiko,” writes Tokutomi, “for they are destined to part from each other, one to the east and the other to the west.”

Scenes from the novel were a common theme in Hikifuda, songs, postcards and even photographs.

Kjeld Duits Collection
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