Tomita Taihō from the series

Thirty Great Loyalists of Early Modern Times, 1942

by Katayama Nanpū

IHL Cat. #2571


Tomita, Confucian scholar, physician and author of Daitō tekigai chūgihen 大東敵愾忠義編 ("Biography of Loyalists in Japan") and a supporter of the Sonnōjōi Movement ("revere the Emperor and expel the barbarians"), is shown sitting, book in his lap with sword beside him. 

Thirty Great Loyalists of Early Modern Times

The eleven extant prints comprising the seemingly incomplete series Thirty Great Loyalists of Early Modern Times depict figures active in the mid/late Edo era and early Meiji era who displayed great loyalty to the Emperor and, thereby, the nation. Issued in 1942 when the war in the Pacific was raging, the patriotic theme of these prints was clear. Nine of the eleven extant prints portray a famous incident or anecdote in a Great Loyalist's life and two prints deal specifically with the 1860 assassination of the shōgunate's Chief Minister Ii Naosuke (1815-1860). Each print was issued in a folder which also contained a written commentary. 

Print Details

Thirty Great Loyalists #2571

unread signature and seal of text writer

artist signature and seal

signature: 南風敬〓 (Nanpū keii?) - possibly "respectfully Nampū." Last character of signature unread.)

seal: 南風 (Nanpū)

copyright notice followed by seal of the Society for the Promotion of Loyalist Culture



Nagaya saku seal

ナガヤ作 東々五八八 (nagaya saku tonton? 588) (oval seal below publisher seal) 

Folder containing print and commentary


click on image to enlarge

Commentary accompanying print

近世勤皇家三十傑 (5) 富田大鳳勤皇文化振興會 

Artist Profile

Katayama Nanpū 堅山南風 (1887-1980) - a nihonga painter born in Kumamoto Prefecture, he moved to Tokyo in 1910 to become the student of Takahashi Kōko  髙橋廣湖  (1875-1912), he is known for his paintings of historical subjects. Later he became a student of the famous Yokoyama Taikan 横山大観 (1868-1958), the artist credited with revitalizing traditional Japanese painting through nihonga, who paved Katayama's way into the seventh government sponsored Bunten exhibition of 1913, where Katayama won fame for his approach to historical painting, being awarded a second prize for his work Shimotsuki goro 霜月ごろ ("Around November"). In 1914 he was made a member of the Japan Fine Art Academy (Nihon bijutsuin). In 1916 he travelled to India spending three months sketching. In 1958 he was made a member of the Japan Art Academy (Nihon geijutsu-in) and he received the Order of Cultural Merit in 1968.

Sources: Nihonga Transcending the Past: Japanese-Style Painting, 1869-1968, Ellen P. Conant, Weatherhill, 1995, p. 303; A Dictionary of Japanese Artists: Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Prints, Lacquer, Laurance P. Roberts, Weatherhill, 1976, p. 70; Biographical Dictionary of Japanese Art, Yutaka Tazawa, Kodansha International, Ltd. in collaboration with the International Society for Educational Information, Inc., 1981, p. 134; "Ruptures and Continuity in Pan-Asianism: New Insights into India-Japan Artistic Exchanges in the first half of the Twentieth Century",  Eve Loh Kazuhara, National University of Singapore;