HOMEJapanese Culture (日本の文化) > 『小花三』(Kohana san)

English ed. 1892 (Meiji 25)Catalogue No. 66


『小花三』(Kohana san)
Nippon no shibai Terakoya to Asagao
著者:F.M. ボストウィック(Author : F.M. Bostwick)
絵師:不明(Illustrator : anonymous)

■ 解説
赤穂の四十七士の血縁であったため家が没落したことが語られ、その見開きの頁には大名行列が、さらにその次頁には雪の積もる橋を渡る四十七士らしき人々の絵が見られる。 人物から花や鳥、道具、襖の
  This book was made by F.M. Bostwick, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy who also authored Oyuchasan written in 1890 (Meiji 23). Like the latter, it presents music followed by lyrics. At the beginning is a note that the song was written by Bostwick.
  A note on the cover informs the reader that Kohana, the protagonist and focus of admiration in this song, which is a "kouta" ditty consisting of six verses in all with a chorus, is a geisha from what had been the district of Tsu (i.e., present-day Kobe). The second verse relates that her father had been a "daimio" (i.e., provincial lord), but that their family came to ruin because he was a blood relative of one of 47 Ako ronins (whose story is told in the "Tale of the Loyal Retainers"). On the spread for this verse is a picture of a daimio's procession, and what appears to be the 47 retainers crossing a snow-covered bridge is on the next page. The book does not name the illustrator, whose illustrations exhibit careful attention to the details of people, flowers, birds, tools, paintings on screen doors, kimono patterns, and even trees in the background. His work suggests very close coordination with both Bostwick as the author and Takejiro Hasegawa as the publisher. The book is considered an artistic masterpiece thanks to his ingenious compositions and delicate designs.