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Sawada Shōjirō as Hayashi Buhei

Natori Shunsen began his career as an illustrator. Working with the publisher Watanabe, Natori began this series of 36 actor prints in 1925. Produced in a limited edition of 150, these prints were sold by subscription. The series was finished in 1929 and exhibited for the first time in Toledo, Ohio, in 1930. His reputation now well established, Natori continued to produce prints and another great series with Watanabe in the early 1950s. Two years following the unexpected death of his daughter in 1958, Natori and his second wife committed suicide on the site of the family grave in Tokyo.

Natori Shunsen
Japanese, 1886–1960
Sawada Shōjirō as Hayashi Buhei, from the series Collection of Shunsen Portraits
1927
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
15 5/8 x 14 7/8 in. (39.7 x 27.0 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Museum purchase with funds from the Thomas T. Solley Endowed Fund for the Curator of Asian Art, 2007.2