Torii Kotondo (鳥居言人) (artist 1900 – 1976)

Torii Kiyotada VIII



"As his surname suggests, Kotondo belonged to the illustrious Torii line of print designers whose origins date to the late 1690s and the very beginnings of ukiyo-e. He was formally adopted into the Torii family in 1915. As with all artists of the Torii line, Kotondo began his career studying painted billboards that hung on the façade of Tokyo's kabuki theaters. By age fifteen he was illustrating the theater magazine Engeki gahō. He assumed leadership as the eighth master of the Torii line on the retirement of his father in 1929. His kabuki-related duties included stage set and scenery design. d

Like Kiyonaga (1752-1815), the fourth head of the Torii line... Kotondo also developed an enduring interest in bijinga, probably stemming from his study with Kaburagi Kiyokata during his late adolescence. Kotondo's paintings were frequently exhibited at the Teiten from 1925 onwards. He is more recognized today for his bijinga prints and paintings than his work in theater illustration. His output of prints consisted of only twenty-one designs issued between 1927 and 1933 by three different publishers. After the war, Kotondo worked as a consultant for theater and television while teaching theatrical art at Nihon University."

Quoted from: The Women of Shin Hanga: The Judith and Joseph Barker Collection of Japanese Prints, edited by Allen Hockley, Hood Museum of Art, p. 124.