shini-e 死絵
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Also tsuizen-e 追善絵. Buddhist memorial pictures. In the 19c obituary pictures were printed and sold to announce the death of a celebrity as well as to pray for the repose of his soul. Likeness portraits *nigao-e 似顔絵 of the deceased were made with posthumous Buddhist names, death poems, burial places, birth and death dates, as well as other information. Most subjects were *kabuki 歌舞伎 actors, but sometimes fiction writers or artists were portrayed. An early example is the 1799 shini-e by Utagawa Kunimasa 歌川国政 (1773-1810) produced upon the death of 6th generation Ichikawa Danjuurou 市川団十郎. In 1854, between 120 and 130 different obituary prints were made when 8th generation Danjuurou committed suicide in Osaka.


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