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== Summary ==
[[Seiu Ito]] was a major figure in the SM world in Japan during the Showa era (
1925-1989) and his influence continues to the present day . Born in 1882, he was strongly attracted to scenes of torture in stories and theater plays from an early age, and he produced a large body of art (paintings and drawings) and photographs depicting scenes of torture and kinbaku, often using his wife or mistress as his model.
He began as a newspaper illustrator at the end of the Meiji era and later became a theater critic. He then became the head of the Performing Arts section as well as the main illustrator for <i>Yomiuri</i>
News. At the beginning of the Taisho period (1912-1926), he met [[Kaneyo Sasaki]] (Oyou) and [[Kise Sahara]], two women who had an appreciation of kinbaku. He deepened his study of torture art and photography, and in the closing years of the Taisho (around 1926), he rode the wave of the <i>eroguro</i> movement and attracted attention as a “painter of perversion”. In 1928, he published the first photo book of kinbaku (<i>Seme no Kenkyu – Research on Torture</i>), which was soon after banned by the authorities.
Before World War II, he published a large number of collections of graphic works through editor Suikodo Shoten. But this period, with Ito at the height of his career, was interrupted by the war.
With the cessation of hostilities, he became active as a writer in magazines such as [[ ''Ningen Tankyu '']], [[Kitan Club]] and [[Fuzoku Soushi]]. In addition, he organized frequent photo sessions and the resulting photos can be seen as “photos in the Seiyu way” in magazines such as [[Fuzoku Soushi]], [[Fuzoku Kitan]] and [[Uramado]]. During the Taisho period he established theater groups whose plays centered on torture scenes and, in 1953, he started the Seme no Gekidan (Torture Theater Group) which performed at Ichikawa Suzumoto theater in Tokyo and others.
He was also an historian and his lifelong research culminated in the book <i>Iroha Biki -- Edo to Tokyo Fuzoku Yashi</i> which details the tools and crafts of old Tokyo.
3, 1882 in Tokyo, Asakusa district, Kinryusan Kudarikawara 5 as the eldest son of Kintaro Ito, a metal engraver.
1890: Accepted as an apprentice by Teiu Nozawa, a member of the Edo-based ''Korin'' school of drawing; at about nine years of age, discovers his obsession with the perfume of women’s hair as well as punishment scenes in theater plays.
1891: Receives a copy of the story of <i>Chujou Hime</i> (Princess Chujou) from his mother; the scene of torture in the snow leaves a strong impression.
1892: Goes with his parents to the theater Honjo Kotobukiza and watches a performance of Otono Yoshida’s <i>Maneku Furisode</i> (An Inviting Kimono Sleeve); the scene of torture leaves a profound mark.
1894: Becomes the apprentice of ivory carver Seisyu Naito in the district of Honjo Aioi-cho, Tokyo.
1896: Starts to draw advertisements for theater plays.
1896 (June): Goes to the Haruki Theater in the district of Hongo, Tokyo to watch <i>Nisshin Senso Youchi no Ada Tan</i> (Raid Nocturne During the Nishiin War), a play in the Soushi Shibai (Outlaw Theater) where a scene of a nurse being tortured leaves a deep impression.
1898: While still an apprentice ivory carver, uses his free time to draw ropes of illustrations of women published in the <i>Tokyo Asahi</i> newspaper.
1899: In the Tokiwa Theater in Asakusa, is strongly impressed by the torture chamber in the play <i>Akumabarai</i> (Sweep Away the Demons) of Yoshimi Mizuno.
1905: With the intention of becoming a painter, terminates his apprenticeship with the ivory carver and moves to Kyoto; tries different occupations in succession but eventually returns to Tokyo.
1907: Joins the <i>Mai-Chou Shinbun</i> published in the Nihonbashi, Tokyo district as an artist/journalist. He is put in charge of illustrating <i>Yomashima</i> (Ghost Island) by writer Syuhei Arigawa.
1909: Joins the <i>Yamato Shinbun Sha</i> located in Kyobashi, Tokyo in charge of illustrations, while continuing as theater critic at the <i>Maiseki Shinbun</i>; he then joined the <i>Yomiuri Shinbun</i> where he was promoted to head illustrator.
1918: [[Kaneyo Sasaki]] starts living with Yumeji Takehisa (1884-1934), painter and poet.
1919: Starts the
<i>Kaidan Kai </i> (Ghost Stories Society) in Hyakkaen park in Mukojima, Tokyo along with Rokko Hirayama (1881-1953) writer, Kogen Miyake (1886-1951) writer, (Kyoka Izumi (1873-1939) writer, Mantaro Kubota (1889-1963) writer, Saitenzan III Kinjo (1863-1935), Yoho Ii (1871-1932), Shotaro Hanayagi (1894-1965) actor.
1919: Divorces Takeo and marries [[Kise Sahara]].
1920 (autumn): Makes his fist attempt at suspension with his wife [[Kise Sahara]]; also suspends his wife’s younger daughter in his workshop and takes photos.
1921 (June): With [[Kise Sahara]] now pregnant, makes the
<i>Rinketsu Bijin Sakasa Tsuri no Shashin </i> ( photo in inverted suspension of a beautiful woman in her last month of pregnancy).
1921: Senzaburo Suzuki (1893-1924), a theater writer, publishes <i>Hi Aburi</i> (Burnt by Fire), a play based on the life of Seiu Ito.
1923: Borrowing a farmer's house in Shimotakaido from his student Gajou Sakamoto, takes, with photographer Raisui Suzuki, photos of snow torture. The location was noted for the plum tree in the garden, a feature important to Ito.
1923: Great Kanto Earthquake occurs; Ito's residence
avoids fire damage; at this time he had lent the <i>Rinketsu Bijin Sakasa Tsuri no Shashin</i> to his friend, Tomitsuka Kenzo, which is eventually published in the December 1936 issue of <i>Hentai Shiryou</i>; the same year he publishes <i>Iroha Hiki – Edo to Tokyo Fuzoku Noshi</i> (Private History of Edo and Tokyo Customs, Taken From the Iroha).
1924: Publishes in the <i>Sunday Mainichi</i> photos of torture of [[Kise Sahara]]; acquires a reputation for perversion.
1925 (summer): Starts a theater group which concentrates on torture scenes.
1926 (December): Publication of <i>Rinketsu Bijin Sakasa Tsuri no Shashin</i> in the magazine <i>Hentai Shiriou</i> (Pervert Documents) without his authorization. Accompanied by <i>Rinketsu no Josei no Tsukasazuri</i> (
inverse suspension of a woman in her last month of pregnancy) by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892), ukiyoe artitst.
1927: Publication of the first volume of <i>Iroha Hiki, Edo to Tokyo Fuzoku Noshi</i> by publisher Hirobunkan.
1928: Publishes the first known photo book of kinbaku, <i>Seme no Kenkyuu<
'i> (Research on Torture) which is quickly banned by the authorities.
1930: Works as contributor and editor for the <i>Kodanzasshi</i>.
1931: Now married for a third time, Ito's wife suffers from mental illness and he goes into debt.
1932: Publishes <i>Bijin Ranpu</i> (Ecstatic Dance of Beautiful Women).
1932: Publishes the sixth volume of his <i>Iroha Hiki – Edo to Tokyo Fuzoku Noshi</i>.
1945: His home is destroyed during the Great Tokyo Air Raid.
1947: In the fourth issue of the magazine <i>Rioki</i>, publishes ''Shitagerataru Nijon Fujin'' (The Japanese Married Woman Who Wanted to Be Oppressed).
1950: In Asakusa, Tokyo, Hyakumandoru Gekijo (Million Dollar Theater) presents torture theater.
1951 (April): Until at least January 1954, exchanges letters with [[
Suma Toshiyuki]] (aka [[ Kita Reiko]])
1951: Publishes a series of essays in the magazine <i>Ningen Tankyuu</i>.
[[Image:Ito Seiu Mesoku Uramono Jo Amatoria Dec 1951.jpg|150px|thumbnail|Mesoku Uramono Jo 1951]]
1951: ''Mezoku Uramono Jo'' (Book on Secret Things in a Women's Jail), edited by Seiu Ito and intended as a supplement to be published inside <i>Amatoria</i> becomes a problem and is detached from the magazine.
1953: Edits a photo supplement to the January issue of the magazine <i>Yomikiri Romance</i> titled ''Etsugyaku Koukotsu To'' (Graphic Depiction of Ecstasy in Pleasure and Pain) with mainly kinbaku photos; it is the second such supplement by the magazine, the first one being published in August 1952, titled ''Nudo Fuzoku Arubamu'' (Various Nude Album) and edited by Ueda Seijiro who is generally considered to have been strongly influenced by Ito. These two supplements represent the first two publications entirely devoted to kinbaku in the period following the Second World War. The photos included in ''Nudo Fuzoku Arubamu'' are seen as pre-dating the first SM works published in <i>Kitan Club</i>.
1953: In the January issue of [[Kitan Club]], publishes a short piece describing his thoughts on [[
1953: Starts his fourth Seme No Gekidan (Torture Theater Group) with its activity centered around the Nakamura Za (Theatre Nakamura).
1953 (July): Second group of representations at the theater Nakamura Za.
1954: Meets for the first time in person with [[
1954 (January 29): NHK (Japan public broadcaster) has an interview about ''Seme no Kenkyuu'' (Research on Torture) which is broadcast on radio on NHK channel one.
1955: Photographer Kawaguchi Hiroshi pays a visit to Seiu Ito which begins their friendship.
1960: Receives a prize from the Federation of Fine Art Publishers.
Passes away; Takahashi Tetsuo, Suma Toshiyuki, Ueda Seijiro and Tanaka Masahisa attend the funeral.
1966: [[Oniroku Dan]]'s novel <i>Ryoki no Hate</i> (<i>At the Extreme of Hunting for the Bizarre</i>) uses Seiu Ito as its model.
There is a full bibliography in Japanese in the related article on Seiu Ito at SMpedia. We have listed here books on Seiu Ito which are likely to be of value to those who cannot read Japanese.
伊藤晴雨集 (Ito Seiu Collected Images), March 1997 ISBN: 978-4107200433