Newspaper Page Text
it lines varying in lightness from tn«
thinnest pen strokes to a broad, rich
stroke that the largest stub could never
hope to equal.
"It is therefore wash drawing, with th*
effect of pen drawing," I decided, for my
"Is your drawing ever enlarged or re
duced in the process of reproduction?" I
"No," said th« artist "The drawings
themselves are pasted on wooden blocks
and directly reproduced therefrom. Theso
Jjlocks are often sold, by the way— at $1 a
pound— to the little country newspaper*
that cannot afford to employ an artist of
their own. Only the inferior papers do
this, of course." *
"This is all very interesting. May I
write a little story about itr-J I asked, and
on receiving the permission that I knew
would be forthcoming asked th© further
favor of a characteristic illustration, that
would serve both as example of tha
artist's work and of the Illustrative art
The above strong and spirited sketch of
a tiger, done in Incredibly short time, was
the response to my request. Fish, birds
and tigers are the "strong suit" of this
Japanese "animalier," and tho tiger
sketch is of particular appropriateness at
this season in Japan. This Is their New
Year, and its distinguishing zodiacal and
cyclical signs are the tiger and tho*
stream. Once only in sixty years Is this
particular combination possible, as with
twelve zodiacal signs and only ten cyclical
self an accomplished artist and Oriental
scholar, Henry F. Bowie of San Mateo,
who* has interested himself very practi
cally in Mr. Shimada's American j
"There is Eisen," Shimada : ? replied
through *his 'courteous, proxy: "Eiseh, fa
mous for beautiful ¦ girls — like your Gib-s^
son. - He [ Is on 'The Capital.' He Ulus-;.
trates'.- novels" that appear every ,. day Jn
the paper, like the; French feullleton, and
people- cut' out -the " stories .and pictures
and bind them -'into.-, books.' There ¦ 13
Kubota, best man of the best school. He
illustrated the Chinese arid Japanese war
"Oh, yes. ';•¦ We ' illustrate news entirely
from nature. Taguchi is our first artist
in caricature! ¦;'/ He is on the Maru Maru
Shinbun. Every . important newspaper,
has its 'artist,' one only, and a monopoly
of his work, though Eisen 1 and. a ': few
others are privileged to do work for other
papers on occasion." | ...
'.'What ] is the salary / of your Japanese
Gibson?": , • f , ." . . . ¦•
."Eisen? : Eisen , gets ; 150 yen , ($75) a
, month, and that is . about the /average.
N That will perhaps mean, three pictures In
a day.'* Then illustration's will be -bought
In: addition; ;from '60 cents upward, from
| other artists. , The famous; artists, how
ever, all contribute to the newspapers oc
casionally sketches of "'their pictures that
are on exhibition and -the like. The adM
vertisements, like yours,' are mostly don?
by. inferior! workmen.", i ¦"""'¦'.*
¦. "What' is .the standing of the newspa
"The most distinguished men of the day.
belong to the newspaper" fraternity. ' Of
' course ' the ' magazines,' as with you, ¦ con
tain better- reproductions, but' no better
work. The magazines* illustrate •" foreign
events and 'famous people largely mostly
by photography. They also have geisha,
photographs and Illustrations concerning
themselves with . the time of the cherry
blossoming, the time of the blooming of
the lotus and other events of national
importance. The newspapers illustrate
these things, also as well as such things
as festivals, floods, fires,, train wrecks,
new bridges, etc."
"How much does your newspaper cost?"
"Two cents, and the magazines 15 cents
(30 sen), mostly."
: "You use . a brush entirely to work
with?" I asked, for so I had heard, though
the delicacy of the line work in Mn.ShJ
mada's drawings seemed to indicate tho
use of a pen, and that of the finest.
*!Yes, it is all brush work," said the
artist,, picking up one of the supple little
Instruments in question and making with
signs Oriental subtlety fcaa made possible
the sixty , different astrological conjunc
tions. The -tiger illustrates fittingly th«
quality of the artist's work, but his paint
ings on silk of fish that were on exhibi
tion in the Vickery art galleries some
time ago are still more characteristic. His
fish are all but alive, supple, slippery, wot
things, curving through wet water In In
describably graceful line. He also pnints
monkeys and squirrels delightfully, and
has lately done some rather wonderful
(from a mechanical standpoint) copies of
such Occidental studies as the Cabanel
Venus. But I would give a dozen other
of any of his things for one small fish.
Shimada himself is perhaps prouder of
some very bad photographs that he has
lately turned out than of any thins els«
he has done.
BLANCHE PART1NGT0N. |
ing a tablet on which Is inscribed
"Droits de rhomme." the rights of man.
This has caused a violent protest on the
part of the women's rights societies of
Paris, and, as a counterblast, they have
got up a stamp which Is a duplicate of
the one issued by the Government, only
that on the tablet which the man holds is
written "Droits de la Femme"— the rights
of weman. Those stamps have been cir
culated among the faithful, with instruc
tions to paste one on every letter along
side the Government stamp. Thousands
of these stamps have been sold at 10
cents a hundred, and thousands of letters
which pass through the French post bear
the appeal for woman suffrage. The pos
cii authorities are much annoyed, for
Cxy have to look sharp to see which
«*mp to concel where the letter bears
both the male and the female stamps, and
also to see that a letter does not go
through with only the stamp of the
woman on it.
Bo far the postal authorities have b»?n
— ' NETV* postage stamp recently Issued
A by the French postofflce bears on
its face the picture of a man hold-
too gallant to protest openly, but "some
thing official" will have to be done about
it. Possibly the whole Issue of the rights
of man stamps will have to be called in.
The stamp collector : had better be fore
armed against such a contingency and
procure a sample of the offending stamps
before it is too late.
A singular thing is , revealed by the
number of these "rights of .woman"
stamps which are now befhg used In
Paris, and that is the extent of the woman
suffrage sentiment in France. It would
iseem that the movement for the enfran
chisement of women had become more
popular there than any one had an idea
of. Perhaps those who are deeply inter
ested In the woman suffrage movement
have kept track of Its growth in France;
but to the general public the extent of it
there, as revealed by the many thousands
of rights of woman stamps sold, will be
a sunrise. .
• ¦ » ¦
Twenty-eight; mechanics from Birming
ham are about to visit the polytechnic at
Zurich for the purpose of studying the lat
est methods of electrical machinery. '
WOMEN OF FRANCE ISSUE THEIR OWN STAMPS.
was myself artist for the Dai Nihon Kyo
Iku, • the principal educational journal of
Japan. The - Capital of Tokio Is a
splendid paper, like your New York Her
ald; the Toshi Mune— Morning Sun—an
other, and the National Gazette is the
best of all. Then there is the Maru Maru
Sh:nbun, "like your Life, that is excel
lent for caricature, and many others. And
there are the weekly and monthly maga
zines, devoted to art. poetry, science
and foreign, events and Illustrated by the
best artists of Japan.
"Our newspaper reflects our life and'
character exactly, as your " : : ' newspaper
does.'- There is. If you please, however,
one large difference between our - press
and yours. Like you, we have the. radical
press, the socialist press, even 'the an
archist press, that are permitted to criti
cize the Government to .their .full satis
faction. But the head of the- Government,
the Emperor, is never attacked under any
circumstances by any one— as your Mc-
Klnley was attacked by your press."--. *,
It was my turn to change the subject.
"Who are your famous Illustrators?" I
The interpreter, who should before have
been introduced as a cultured young stu
dent and host of Mr. Shimada, himself
answered smilingly: .
"You know.Mr. Shimada Is himself one
of our famous illustrators," a dictum that
has since been confirmed by a distin
guished connoisseur of Japanese art, him-
"McKinley!" I said at first glance.
"No, that is Gladstone," said Shimada.
and pointed, smiling, to the characteristic
collar, whose fame had reached even to
There were humorous drawings, a vain
scientist with a literal "big head"; a
spirited sketch of a horserace; the return
of the Americanized Jap to his farmer
father and so forth. There were lovely
little sketches of architecture, illustra
tions of ancient fairy legends, exquisite
little landscapes, all handled in a free,
sure fashion, at once strong and delicate.
There were all sorts of portraits of all
kinds of people, unmistakably likenesses,
yet seen through Oriental eyes. There
were animal drawings, some ridiculously
clever chickens, some rather astonishing
horses, anything and everything, but all
showing a master's hand.
"We have in Japan our daily papers,
just as you," Shimada begins again.
I assent, though my acquaintance .with
the Oriental press has been limited to that
part of itfthat comes wrapped" around
Japanese porcelain at Christmas time.
You know the kind. ' It looks- to the un
initiated like the print of chickens' ' fee
in a. wet yard, spread in formal fashion
over a sheet about half as large again as
a War Cry.
"Oh, yes," the artist says proudly, "we
have papers with a daily circulation of
50.000 and 100.000. The .Tokio Ilochl, for
example, will run up fo the latter num
"The Hochi?— doubtless a sheet devoted
to art, literature, political reform and the
like?" I asked.
"Not exactly," stammers the trans
lator with comical embarrassment Then
It came out, bit by bit, to my unkind
amusement that the Hochi is the yellow,
yellow Journal ' of japan, devoting- most
of Its space to scandals In high life,
geisha 6crapes, political fiub-dub and red
hot news generally.
"But there are others?"" I suggest at
last to the artist, who was Industriously
covering as much of his expressive coun
tenance as would lie under a tiny tea
- "Indeed, yes!" he replied eagerly. "I
8EKKO SHIMADA, the famous
Japanese newspaper illustrator. Ss
here. In fact Mr. Shimada has
been in town for some months,
but his identity with the distin
guished illustrator has so far xe
mained unsuspected. Neither would It be
known now— for the artist is as modest
as he is clever— if I had not happened to
knock down a small paper mountain in a
corner of his little studio on Pine street
the other day.
"What are these?" I demanded, as what
appeared to be pen drawings of every de
scription of subject— train wrecks, fires,
street crowds, ballet dancers. fes
tivals, portraits, caricatures— came flut
tering down in ail directions. They
were unmistakably Japanese, yet of
a kind of art that I' had never be
fore seen. Some recalled a "Whistler etch
ing, others reminded of Abbey or Hugh
Thomson, and the feeling of yet others
was distinctly French in its chic direct
ness. There was perspective of our kind
humor, with an Occidental appeal, and a
selection of subject known to the West
ern mind as "newsy," all foreign ele
ments in the more familiar Japanese art.
"What are these V" I asked again, hold
ing up a handful of the illustrations.
Mr. Shimada was seated tailor-wise on
his painting mat. surrounded by supple
brushes and little dishes of bright inks,
touchir.g in rapidly a few soldiers in a
copy of a curious old print of Commodore
Perry's landing in Japan. The drawing
lay flat on the mat before him and the
artist himself made a pleasing picture tn
his kimono of subdued grays and purples.
his keen yet gentle face, the color of oM
ivory, now bending for an intent moment,
over his work and again lifted with
courteous smile to his guests.
His friend and interpreter translated:
"Those? Oh, those were merely reprints
of some of his newspaper sketches. Did
1 like them? Would I not please choose
some from, among them and accept them
with Mr. Shimada's honorable regards?"
—with the slightly embarrassing generos
ity of the hospitable Japanese.
'•Xo, it was too much," I said, but
changed my mind on seeing the little hurt
look en the expressive brown face. "Yes,
if I may; these delightful child faces will
give ne great pleasure. But I want to
know all about Japanese newspaper art."
i The gentle Oriental promptly placed his
time at my "honorable disposal," ordered
the indispensable tea. sweetmeats, and.
for a particular bonne bouche. what I
shamelessly confess held for me the gasp
and strangle of my first olive— the epicu
rean dried seaweed of Nippcn. Then, over
the toy teacups, I learned something
about the Japanese newspaper.
Shimada speaks no English— with his
lips, by the way— but he has a full vocab
ulary of sparkling gesture and expression.
Half his story is told by the sensitive
artist hands; the face, fine, vivid and
eager, points the tale, and the translator
does the rest.
"This is not the kind of paper on which
jour newspapers are printed?" I asked.
pointing to the creamy, parchment-like
paper of the sketches.
"No, our newspaper paper is very bad —
rough, soft, thin, altogether bad," the
trtist replied. "It quite spoils the draw
ings." Which Is the only absolutely in
ertistic thing that I have heard of this
inherently artistic people.
<"You want to know something about the
sketches? This" — picking up a cleverly
handled crowd subject, with soldiers,
buildings en fete and a personage and his
wife addressing the multitude— "'this Is
the opening of the Art Exhibition at
Tokio" by the Emperor and Empress.
"This is Capri vi, the Italian general,
and this is Queen Victoria. You recognize
fhlK? Kdison? And this?"
He is r|OW tri San
to say abcUt
THE SUNDAY ! CAIil*
THE FAMOUS JAPANESE