Sensei [pron. 'sensay'] was a master swordsman from Sendai. A feature of European travelling shows during the first two decades of the twentieth century. With suppleness of wrist and arm, weilding a sword with a blade tip heated to white-hotness, he would produce exquisite 'sky-writing' in his darkened booth. After amassing a small fortune, he returned to his native land where he trained his fellow countrymen in swordsmanship which they were to employ in the less delightful circumstances of the Manchurian campaign. He is lost to history at this point.
The painting is part of an ongoing series of illusionists and performers entitled, "Smoke & Mirrors". Painted in realist poster style