Tadamasa Ueno (1904-1970)
Tadamasa was born in 1904 under the name of Ueno Katsumi. Since his childhood he studied with Torii Kiyotada (also known as Torii VII), from he received the name of Tadamasa. The Torii family, one of the most prestigious artistic lineages of Japan, was connected, since the seventeenth century, to Ukiyo-e painting and print making, as well as to Kabuki theater.
In 1940 Tadamasa met the publisher Watanabe Shozaburo, with whom he started a collaboration that resulted in two print series. The first, titled Kabuki kumadori juhachi ban - Eighteen Kabuki Make-ups, was published, one per month, in 1940 and 1941, an additional print being published afterwards. The second series, titled Zoku kumadori juhachi ban, followed the same theme, but was abandoned after the first seven prints were published, due to the war.
After the end of the war Tadamasa continued his Kabuki related work, namely designing billboards for Tokyo theaters. In 1949 he was accepted as a member of the Torri family, changing his name to Torii Tadamasa.
In 1950 he started working with the publisher Shokokusha, with whom he published a series with twelve Kabuki prints, forming a calendar, under the title Kabuki Sugata-goyomi - Calendar of Kabuki Roles and Actors (in 1950), as well as another series under the title Kabuki juhachi ban – Eighteen Kabuki Plays, on the list of 18 favorite Kabuki plays chosen by Ichikawa Danjuro VII (circa 1952).
Around the same time he published another series with the title Kabuki juhachi ban no uchi - One of Eighteen Kabuki plays, with publisher Dairesha.