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Shochiku Kagekidan MIZUNOE Takiko Portrait Photographs (1932-43)

Shochiku Kagekibu MIZUNOE Takiko, 13 Portrait Photographs (ca. 1932-1943).

Description — 13 silver prints (14 x 8.8 cm), 10 with the SSK logo (Shochiku Shojo Kagekibu) in the negative or as a dry stamp, 9 with a 'postcard' back, one with photographer (Nakamura, Tokyo)'s dry stamp. With one pictorial envelop (Shochiku / Kamigataya) from the time.

Condition — Excellent.

Review — Fine 'Bromide' portraits of MIZUNOE Takiko (1915-2009) when she was the 'otoko-yaku' (male role) superstar from the all-female musical theater troupe Shochiku Shojo Kagekibu/Kagekidan (formerly Tokyo Shochiku Gakugekibu, and better known by its postwar name Shochiku Kagekidan SKD - cf. company history [en], info [en]), The Takarazuka Revue's main rival. MIZUNOE Takiko was a first-generation dancer in the company (she joined in 1928), started male-role acting in 1930 (she was the first woman in Japan to have short hair on stage) and quickly became a star of unprecedented renown in the Revue world (these times would be dubbed the 'Tarkie' period - after her nickname; and her private fan club 'Mizunoe Kai' gathered more than 20k members at the time). She was temporarily suspended in 1933 after leading a strike & demo for better wages and working conditions (which succeeded). She left SSK in 1943 and continued a successful career in the movie industry, as an actress in the 1940s & 50s, then also as a producer (in 1954 she became the first female movie producer in Japan).

A fine set of pictures. Most of the solo portraits are especially beautiful. Two pictures depicts Takiko in a female outfit: one is a a cute & friendly two-shot taken outside, and the other is a marvellous portrait, most probably done privately, in which she is not smiling but presents a relaxed, somewhat inscrutable expression, seldom seen.

Misc.ORIE Tsusaka also appears in at least one picture (as air pilots, 1941).

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