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No. 12 Do not give money to the indolent


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

No. 12 Do not give money to the indolent

from the series

A Didactic Mirror of Good and Evil

by Shōsai Ikkei, 1872

IHL Cat. #670

About This Print

The top half of print number 12 十二 from the series A Didactic Mirror of Good and Evil, consisting of twelve oban size prints.  Each oban size print consists of two chuban size images, the top image displaying an example of bad behavior and the bottom half displaying good behavior.    It is not unusual for the sheets to have been cut into two chuban size prints, as we see above. 

In this chuban size print (the top half of the oban size sheet, as described above) a child walks toward an indolent beggar (even the akudamas are indolent!) with the intention of putting a coin in the beggar's basket.  Not an activity to be encouraged.

Seven bad souls (akudama) dressed in red and identified by the character 悪 (badness, vice) in the rounds of their faces, assist the beggar's indolence.  It usually takes more akudama to foster bad behavior than zendama to encourage good behavior.

For the origin of these zendama and akudama figures please see the article on this site titled Representations of Good and Evil: Origins of Zendama and Akudama Figures in Japanese Prints.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description  No. 12 Do not give money to the indolent
 Series A Didactic Mirror of Good and Evil (Kyokun zen’aku kagami 教訓善悪鏡)
 Artist  Shōsai Ikkei (fl. 1860-late 1870s)
 Signature  unsigned as signature would appear in the lower half of the uncut oban size sheet
 Seal  no artist's seal
 Publication Date
Tsutaya Kichizô, (Kôeidô)
 Impression  good
 Colors  excellent
 Condition fair - red ink offsets, thinning of paper, center fold and notch of paper missing from center of top margin
 Genre  ukiyo-e
 Format  chuban but originally issued as the top half of an oban-size sheet. 
 H x W Paper
 6 7/8 x 9 1/8 in. (17.5 x 23.2 cm)
 H x W Image
 6 3/8 x 8 5/8 in. (16.2 x 21.9 cm)
 Collections This Print