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|Title||Tsuchigumo no Kuma (makeup for the earth spider)|
|Size||15 x 10 inches. Ôban tate-e single sheet|
Publisher: Wantanabe, First Edition. Stamped copy right seal for 1932-42
Series :Kumadori Juhachiban: Eighteen Kabuki Makeups.
Stunning embossed impression with silver coloured metalic pigment.
The Tsuchigumo (translated as "Earth spider") - is a mythical, supernatural creature faced by many heroes throughout Asian legend. The term Tsuchgumo is also loosely used for bandits, untrustworthy shopkeepers, and thieves. The Tsuchigumo were said to live in caverns beneath the mountains and the Tsuchigumo in ancient legend were able to take the visage of a fairy-like boy or a woman of black spider coloured skin and white cobweb hair depending on the version of the story.
The name transfers at some point to a mythical giant ground dwelling spider that occurs frequently in Japanese demonology.
Tadamasa Ueno (1904-1970) specialized in Kabuki themed print smany of which bear a resemblance to the highly stylized figures of ukiyo-e. Tadamasa was born as Ueno Katsumi. He studied with Torii Kyotada (1875-1941) - also Torii VII. The Torii family had been ukiyo-e painters and printmakers for several generations and can be traced back to the seventeenth century.
Ueno received his artist name Tadamasa - with the syllable tada taken from his master's name Kyotada.
In 1940, Tadamasa met with Watanabe Shozaburo to discuss publishing woodblock prints based on his kabuki paintings. This meeting resulted in a collaboration on two series of actor prints. The first series titled Eighteen Kabuki Makeups (Kabuki kumadori juhachi ban) was published during the years 1940 to 1941. One print was released each month. An additional print, New Years Fortune Sanbaso Makeup, was included with this series. All of these prints were signed with the Tadamasa signature pictured above, but with a variety of different seals.