Table of Contents from the series Instructive Models of Lofty Ambition

Utagawa Kuniaki II (1835-1888)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Table of Contents Sheet

from the series Instructive Models of Lofty Ambition

by Hishikawa Harunobu, c. 1890

Utagawa Kuniaki II (1835-1888)


IHL Cat. #1071

About This Print

On two partially unrolled scrolls, this Table of Contents sheet (mokuroku) from the series Instructive Models of Lofty Ambition provides the names of the artists who contributed prints to the series, the name and address of the series' publisher and a list of all fifty prints that compromised the series as it was originally issued.  As discussed in the article on this site "Instructive Models of Lofty Ambition," one additional artist Yōshū Chikanobu (1838-1912)whose name does not appear on the Table of Contents sheet (for unknown reasons), was commissioned to create two prints and the final number of prints issued was fifty-eight rather than fifty, including three prints not listed in the Table of Contents (the two Chikanobu designs and one design by Inoue Tankei) and five modified designs of originally issued prints.  

The top scroll, reading from right to left, informs us of the name of the series, Instructive Models of Lofty Ambition (教導立志基); that fifty prints make up the complete series (五十番揃); the names of the six artists contributing prints: Kobayashi Kiyochika (小林 清親), Hachisuka (Utagawa) Kuniaki II (蜂須賀国明), Toyohara Kunichika (豊原国周), Inoue Tankei (Yasuji) (井上探景), Mizuno Toshikata ( 水野年方), Taiso (Tsukioka) Yoshitoshi 大蘇芳年 and the name of the publisher, Matsuki Heikichi (松木平吉) and, finally, the publisher's address 東京日本橋区両国吉川町二番地.

The bottom scroll is the table of contents, or index (目録) of prints in the series as originally issued. Reading from top right to bottom left, the tiles provided are as follows:

Position in table of contentsTitle in Kanji
 Title Translation
1 伊企儺         Ikina
2 上毛野形名   Kamitsukenu Katana
3 小野道風      Ono no Tōfū
4 大納言行成   Dainagon Yukinari
5 小式部内侍   
 Koshikibu no Naishi
6 赤染衛門     Akazome Emon
7 菅原道真公   Michizane Sugawara
8 兆殿司       Chōdensu
9 藤原在衡     
 Fujiwara no Arihira
10 
 高倉帝仕丁   Emperor Takakura’s Palace Servants
11 
 源義家        Minamoto no Yoshiie
12 
 袈裟御前     Kesa Gozen
13 
 佛御前       Hotoke Gozen
14 
 佐藤嗣信     Sato Tsugunobo
15 
 静御前      
 Shizuka Gozen
16 
 丹後局      
 Tango no Tsubone
17 
 曾我兄弟 Soga Brothers
18 
 佐野常世(丗) Sano Tsuneyo
19 
 青砥藤綱    
 Aoto Fujitsuna
20 北条(條)泰時 Hōjō Yasutoki
21 楠正成       Kusunoki Masashige
22 
 村上義光    Murakami Yoshiteru
23 
 名和長年   
 Nawa Nagatoshi
24
 児島高徳   
 Kojima Takanori
25
 菊池武光   Takemitsu Kikuchi
26 楠正行       Kusunoki Masatsura
27 毛利松寿丸 Mori Shōjumaru
28 上杉虎千代  Uesugi Torachiyo
29 山内一豊妻  Yamanōchi Kazutoyono tsuma
30 
 徳川竹千代 
 Tokugawa Takechiyo
31 富田信高
 Tomita Nobutaka 
32 織田信長 Obu Nobunaga
33 羽柴秀吉 Hashiba Hideyoshi
34 
 越前少将 Echizen Shōshō
35 細川幽斎 Hosokawa Yūsai
36 片桐正一 Katagiri Shoichi
37 秋色
 Shūshiki
38 農弥作 Farmer Yasaku
39 物徂徠 Butsu Sorai
40 大石良雄 Ooishi Yoshio
41 友千鳥 Tomochidori
42 塙保己一
 Hanawa Hokiichi
4
 新井白石 Arai Hakuseki
44 高杉晋作
 Takasugi Shinsaku
45 高山彦九郎 Takayama Hikokurō
46 徳川慶喜 Tokugawa Yoshinobu
47 福地源一郎 Genichiro Fukuchi
48 木戸翠香院 Kido Suikō-in
49 
 田中鶴吉 Tanaka Tsurukichi
50 三條實美公 Sanjō Sanetomi

The design of the this table of contents sheet is credited to the relatively unknown artist Hishikawa Harunobu (active 1875-1891), who designed at least one print of a sumo champion for the publisher Matsuki Heikichi.  (See details under Signature in the table "Print Details" below.)

About The Series "Kyōdō risshi no motoi"
Note: This series is variously translated as "Instructive Models of Lofty Ambition," "Foundations of Learning and Achievement," "Foundation of Instruction and Perseverance," "Self-Made Men Worthy of Emulation," "Paragons of Instruction and Success," "Moral of Success," "Examples of Self-Made Leaders," and "Instruction in the Fundamentals of Success."  The title in Japanese is sometimes seen as "Kyōdō risshiki or "Kyōdō risshi no moto."

Source: Kiyochika Artist of Meiji Japan, Henry D. Smith II, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1988, p. 74-75; original research and as footnoted.
This series of 58 prints,1 plus a table of contents sheet (目録), were originally published between October 1885 and November 1890 by the Tokyo publisher Matsuki Heikichi 松木平吉.2  The table of contents sheet issued by the publisher states that "fifty prints make up the complete set (五十番揃)".  Three prints not in the initial release were added over the five year publication period, as were five redesigns of original prints, eventually increasing the total print count to 58.  The seven artists contributing prints were Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915) [20 prints], Mizuno Toshikata (1866-1908) [16 prints], Inoue Tankei (Yasuji) (1864-1889) [13 prints], Taiso (Tsukioka) Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) [4 prints],  Yōshū Chikanobu (1838-1912) [2 prints], Toyohara Kunichika (1835–1900) [1 print], and Hachisuka (Utagawa) Kuniaki II (1835-1888) [1 print].  All the artists, with the exception of Yōshū Chikanobu, are listed in the top scroll of the table of contents sheet.  Various colors (blue, blue/green and brown) were used for the decorative border, and in 1902 the series was re-issued by Matsuki without borders.

The series depicts famous individuals throughout Japanese history, from ancient times to the present, i.e. c. 1895.  Brief texts contained within a scroll-like cartouche appearing on each print provide historical details.   The “lofty ambition” of the title is a Confucian concept, originally from Mencius, meaning “righteous determination that would inspire others.”  The market for the series probably included former samurai, ambitious youth, and conservative intellectuals.

"[W]hen it was completed in 1890 the publisher was singled out for special recognition by the government for having sponsored such noble subject matter."3


The series was re-issued in 1902 by the original publisher without the brocade border.


1 The Tokyo Metropolitan Library online collection shows 50 prints and a summary catalog sheet.  The catalog sheet lists the titles of 50 prints.  Smith in Kiyochika Artist of Meiji Japan identified 52 prints.  I have identified 58 prints from this series including five prints (Ikina, Michizane SugiwaraKesa GozenSoga Brothers and Hokiichi Hanawa) that were re-designed and re-printed, likely due to damaged or lost blocks.
2 Robert Schaap notes in Appendix II, p. 166 of Yoshitoshi, Masterpieces from the Ed Freis Collection, Chris Uhlenbeck and Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing, 2011 that the series originally appeared as newspaper supplements.
3 The World of the Meiji Print: Impressions of a New Civilization, Julia Meech-Pekarik, Weatherhill, 1986, p. 122.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #1071
 Title or Description Table or Contents or Index (目録 mokuroku)
 Series“Instructive Models of Lofty Ambition” (Kyōdō  risshiki 教導立志基) [note: series title also listed as  'Kyōdō  risshi no moto', ‘Kyōdō  risshi no motoi’, ‘Kyōdō risshi ki’ and variously translated a"Foundations of Learning and Achievement," "Foundation of Instruction and Perseverance," "Self-Made Men Worthy of Emulation," "Paragons of Instruction and Success," "Moral of Success," "Examples of Self-Made Leaders," and "Instruction in the Fundamentals of Success."
 Artist Hishikawa Harunobu (active 1875-1891)
 Signature
bottom seal: 書画之印 shoga no in (paintings and writings of calligraphy)
top seal: 春宣 (Harunobu)
 Seal
 (see above)
 Publication Date undated, but likely c. 1890
 Publisher Matsuki Heikichi (松木平吉) proprietor of Daikokuya [Marks: seal not shown; pub. ref. 029]
 Engraver 
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent - Japanese album backing paper; very minor marks and flaws; slight trimming to border
 Genre ukiyo-e
 Miscellaneous 
 Format vertical oban
 H x W Paper 
 13 7/8 x 9 3/4 in. (35.2 x 24.8 cm) 
 H x W Image
 13 7/8 x 9 7/16 in. (35.2 x 24 cm) 
 Literature 
  
 Collections This Print
Tokyo Metropolitan Library 5261-K2; Tokyo Digital Museum (Edo-Tokyo Museum) 96200361; Smithsonian Institution Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery S1995.116
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