Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳)

Print: Yu Kinrō and Shu Jushō (朱壽昌) from the series The Twenty-four Chinese Paragons of Filial Piety (Morokoshi nijūshi-kō - 唐土廾四孝)

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Dates: 1847,created
Dimensions: 13.5 in,9.5 in,Overall dimensions

Signed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga
Artist's seal on right panel only: kiri
Censor seals on left panel only: Mera & Murata

Related links: Kuniyoshi Project; Tokyo Metropolitan Library - left panel; Minneapolis Institute of Arts - right panel; Minneapolis Institute of Arts - left panel; Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna - left panel; Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna - right panel; Tokyo Metropolitan Library - rightt panel; Helsinki City Art Museum; Freer/Sackler Galleries - right panel;

Physical description:

The text on the left panel reads: ☆黔婁(ゆきんろう) 古郷(ふるさと)をはなれとほき縣(あがた)の令(やくにん)となりいまだ十日ならざるに父(ちゝ)の病(やまひ)発(はつ[ママ])る時(をり)俄(にはか)に心驚(おどろ)き身に汗(あせ)すること夥(おびたゞ)し是たゞことにあらず父の身に?(こと)[ある]ならんと察(さつ)し官(くわん)を辞(じ)し速(すみやか)に家(いへ)にかへればはたして然(しかり)かくて医(い)の曰病者(ひやうしや)の大便(だいべん)を嘗(なめ)て味(あじは)ひ苦(にが)ければ愈(いゆ)べし甜(あま)ければ愈(いゆ)

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: Yukinrō
Chinese name: Yü Ch’ien-lou

Yukinrō was a provincial governor who one day felt a pain in his chest and had a premonition that his aged father was ill. Upon making the long journey home, Yukinrō found his father on his death bed and was told by a doctor that someone must taste the excrement of the sick man to determine if he would live or die. Yukinrō performed the unpleasant task, and when he learned of his father’s impending demise, prayed all night that he might die in his father’s place. Here Yukinrō is rushing home to be at his father’s bedside.

Robinson: S60.18

Japanese name: Shujushô
Chinese name: Chu Shou-ch’ang

Shujushô was separated from his mother at age seven and later became a high government official. At age 55 he retired from office and began to search for his mother. After much prayer and writing a sutra with his own blood he found his mother. Here Shujushô is resting under a tree.

Robinson: S60.15

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

The text on the right panel reads: 朱壽昌(しゆじゆしやう) 妾(そばめ)の産(うむ)所にて正室(ほんさい)を母となす父雇州(ようしう)の守護(しゆご)となるに及(およ)んで実母(じつぼ)は秦(しん)の国(くに)に嫁(か)せしむ時に昌(しやう)七才也是より隔(へだゝ)ること五十年神宗帝(しんそうてい)の御時官禄(くわんろく)をすて彼國(かのくに)に至(いたり)て母を尋(たづ)ることいと切(せつ)なり心の誠(まこと)天(てん)に通(つう)じふしぎにもめぐりあひぬ母すでに七十餘(よ)才互(たがい)に手を取(とり)かはし涙(なんた)せきあへず且(かつ)喜(よろこ)ぶこと限(かぎり)なし所(ところ)の守護(しゆご)きゝ及(およ)び具(つぶさ)に是を奏聞(そうもん)なししに帝(みかど)御感(ぎよかん)のあまり官禄(くわんろく)以前(いぜん)にかへる事をえたりしとぞ 種員謹記