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Matabe-e Iwasa: The patriarch of Ukiyo-e

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Matabe-e Iwasa: The patriarch of Ukiyo-e Kinbaku Today 3

Matabe-e Iwasa (Matabe-e, or Matabei=又兵衛=first name and Iwasa=岩佐=family name) was born in 1578 as a son of Murashiga Araki, who was a famous military commander (Samurai) in 16c. Iwasa has spent his childhood in the “Sengoku” period, a chaotic and bloody time before Edo period. He was separated from his father when he was 2 years old, and lived in Kyoto with his mother, where he worked in the emperor palace and had educations including drawing.

Iwasa is often prized as the patriarch of Ukiyo-e. His works are also regarded as the origin of “Gekiga (Manga)”. These appraisals are stemmed from the “story nature” and the “dynamic nature” of his works.

Iwasa has particularly drawn scenes of shibari in exact details, which intrigues us, kinbaku lovers. In the first picture (from Picture Scroll of Zyoururi, 17c), we can see a Hojōjutsu-type shibari. Also, in the second picture (from Picture Scroll of Yamanaka Tokiwa, 17c), village people were tying corpses of warriors. Look at their ropes. They folded Asanawa double up as we do now.

Most of his works are designated as important cultural properties by Japanese government.

Visit his page at SMpedia.

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Ugo (aka Kotake, コタケ、小竹) has founded SMpedia on Nov. 2009, which is a Wiki-type dictionary about Japanese Kinbaku. His interests range from the past and current Kinbaku-shi to historical background that has given birth to Showa SM culture in Japan. Daily twittering about short history of Japanese Kinbaku culture can be read in @SMpedia in Twitter or ugo.smpedia in Facebook (in Japanese).