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Nagashima Shungyō (active 1870-1905)

Biographical Data


Nagashima Shungyō 春暁 (active 1870-1905)

Almost nothing is known about the life of Nagashima Shungyō.  Chaikin and the Tahara Municipal Museum state he was the son of Utagawa Yoshitora (fl. c. 1836-1882).1 Chaikin also writes that he called himself Mōsai after 1874 and was also known as Utagawa Shungyō.2  Most of his extant prints are senso-e of the Sino-Japanese War or kaika-e (prints of modernization and Westernization).

The online database of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, provides the following information on "Shungyo Nagashima":
Nationality: Japanese; Gender: Male; Identified by a Google search. Dates given as active 1882-1905, but print in AFGA collection has been dated to 1906 by Roger Keyes. Son of Utagawa Yoshitora, an Edo artist and a pupil of Utagawa Kuniyoshi , active ca. 1850-1880.3

The British Museum lists the artist Nagashima Shungyo as being active 1850-1910.

Shungyō and Yoshitora One In The Same?

Several sources suggest or imply that Nagashima Shungyō, rather than being the son of Utagawa Yoshitora, is one and the same with Yoshitora. This seems to be based upon their reported family and given names Nagashima Tatsugorō  辰五郎 being the same5 and their both frequently using the art name Mōsai 孟斎 in signing many of their prints. I think they were two different artists, based upon stylistic and subject matter differences in their prints.  In addition, they had different recorded home addresses for the year 1880.  Andreas Marks tells us that Yoshitora's home address in 1877 to 1878 was Kandaku Sudachō Yon-banchi, in 1879  Kyōbashi Matsukawachō Roku-banchi, and in 1880 to 1881 Kanda Kajichō Roku-banchi. Shungyō's address on this collection's 1880 print The Glory of the Imperial Flowers is given as Kandaku Sudachō Yon-banchi, matching Yoshitora's 1877-1878 address but not matching his 1879-1881 addresses.6  

Signatures Attributed to the Artist Nagashima Shungyō

 Nagashima Mōsai ga, 1877
(British Museum)

 Nagashima Mōsai ga

Nagashima Mōsai hitsu

Shungyō ga
Shungyō ga

Nagashima Mōsai

 Nagashima Shungyō ga
seal reading Yoshiteru

Shungyō sara Yoshtieru ga

sai Shungyō, 1894
sai Shungyō, 1894
Mōsai Shungy
ō, 1894
(IHL Cat. #513)

Mōsai Shungyō

  Mōsai Shungyō ga, 1889
Mōsai Shungyō ga, 1888

ōju Shungyō ga

1 The Sino-Japanese War, Nathan Chaikin, self-published, 1983, p. 61
   Yoshitora (active c. 1850-1880) was born Nagashima and was a disciple of Kuniyoshi.
2 Op. site Chaikin, p. 61.
5 Although I think the addresses given for artists were somewhat suspect as they sometimes were the address of the publisher.
6 Nagashima is also seen using the characters 永島 and 長島 

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