Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳)

Print: Enshi (剡子) on the left and Kan no Buntei (漢文帝) on the right, from the series The Twenty-four Chinese Paragons of Filial Piety (Morokoshi nijūshi-kō - 唐土廾四孝)

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Dates: 1848,created
Dimensions: 13.5 in,9.5 in,Overall dimensions

Signed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga

Related links: Kuniyoshi Project; Tokyo Metropolitan Library - left sheet; Minneapolis Institute of Arts - left sheet; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - left sheet; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - right sheet; Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna - left panel; Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna - right panel; Hagi Uragami - right panel; Östasiatiska Museet, Sweden - left panel only; Kanagawa Prefectural Museum - left panel;

Physical description:

The book entitled The Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety was written by the Chinese scholar Guo Jujing during the Yuan Dynasty. His pen name was Yizi, and he is known in Japan as Kaku Kyokei. The book recounts the self-sacrificing behavior of twenty-four sons and daughters who go to extreme lengths to honor their parents, stepparents, grandparents, and in-laws. Many of the images in this series appear Western in style, rather than Japanese, and were probably copied from Italian prints. The prints in this edition appear to have been printed two per ōban sheet (about 9.5 x 13.5 inches) and folded to chuban pages (about 9.5 x 6.75 inches). The were once bound together in an album.

Japanese name: Yenshi
Chinese name: Yen Tzu

Yenshi disguised himself in a deer skin in order to capture a doe, which he could milk in order to cure his parents’ eye disease. Hidden in the deer herd he was mistaken for a deer by hunters who roundly scolded him. However, when they heard his explanation the hunters had only praise. Here Yenshi and a hunter are conversing.

Robinson: S60.16

Japanese name: Kan no Buntei
Chinese name: Han Wēn-ti

Kan no Buntei was the second emperor of the Han dynasty. He tasted his mother’s food to protect the queen dowager from poisoning. Here the emperor is kneeling before his mother.

Robinson: S60.3

[The above information is all taken directly from the Kuniyoshi Project.]

The text for the print on the left reads: ?子(えんし) 生質(せいしつ)篤孝(とくかう)なり父母(ふぼ)老(おい)てともに眼病(がんびやう)の患(うれ)ひあり鹿(しか)の乳(ちゝ)妙薬(めうやく)なりといへどもえることかたし何卒(なにとぞ)して是を求(もとめ)んと鹿(しか)の革(かわ)を衣(かつぎ)て深山(しんざん)にゆき鹿(しか)の群(むれ)に入辛苦(しんく)して鹿乳(ろくにう)をえたり猟人(かりびと)遥(はるか)に見てまことの鹿(しか)ぞと思ひ矢(や)をはなさんとなす?子(えんし)そのゆゑをかたりて矢先(やさき)を免(まぬかれ)ぬ假令(たとへ)何(なに)ほどに偽(にする)とも鹿(しか)のわがるいと見(み)まがふべくはあらねどもこれ誠心(せいしん)の徳(とく)によるもの也 種員謹記

The text for the sheet on the right reads: 漢文帝(かんのぶんてい) 漢高祖(かんのかうそ)第三(だいさん)の御子(おんこ)なれども仁賢(じんけん)世(よ)に秀(ひいづ)るゆゑ諸忠臣(もろ/\のちうしん)すゝめて帝位(ていゐ)に即(つけ)奉る生母(はゝ)は高祖(かうそ)の側室(そばめ)なり文帝(ぶんてい)天下(てんか)を知(しろしめし)給ふて後(のち)薄太后(はくたいこう)と称(しょう)す帝(みかど)孝純(かうじゆん)殊(ことさら)に深く御母(おんはゝ)病(やま)ひに臥(ふし)給ふこと三年(みとせ)寝食(しんしよく)を忘(わす)れて藥餌(やくじ)の介(かい)ほう怠(おこた)り給ふことなかりしとなん抑(そも/\)漢朝(かんてう)は高祖(かうそ)に興(おこ9るといへども四百年(ねん)の基(もとゐ)を開(ひら)きしは文帝(ぶんてい)の至孝(しいかう)に依(よる)所也 種員謹記