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No. 12 Do Not Give Money to the Indolent from the series A Didactic Mirror of Good and Evil

 

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

No. 2 Bad Example from the series Moral Lessons for Daughters About the Two Sides of Life

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

The uncut sheet
click on image to enlarge


About This Series
This series of prints was originally issued as a full size oban sheet containing the "badness" on top and the "goodness" on the bottom.  It is not unusual for the sheets to have been cut into two chuban size prints.  Each print in the series is numbered, this being number two  out of a total of twelve 十二 full size oban prints. 
 
The popularity of this twelve print 1872 series lead to the issuance by the same publisher Kōeidō in the next year, 1873, of a similar-themed 12 print series targeted at teaching daughters good from bad titled 娘教訓二面鏡 Musume kyōkun nimen kagami, variously translated as "Moral Lessons for Daughters About the Two Sides of Life" and "Two Sides of Educating Daughters". As shown below, the format of the prints in the two series were almost identical, the noticeable difference being the blue-colored (and on some prints, cyan-colored) background on the 1873 series.

 Print two from the 1872 series
A Didactic Mirror of Good and Evil
教訓善悪鏡 
 Print two from the 1873 series Moral Lessons for Daughters About the Two Sides of Life
娘教訓二面鏡 


Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #670
 Title or Description  No. 12 Do not give money to the indolent
 Series A Didactic Mirror of Good and Evil
 Kyōkun zen’aku kagami 教訓善悪鏡
 [also seen translated as Mirror of Moral Lessons About Good and Evil]
 Artist  Shōsai Ikkei (fl. 1860-late 1870s)
 Signature  unsigned - signature would appear in the lower half of the uncut oban size sheet
 Seal  no artist's seal
 Publication Date
 1872
 Publisher
Tsutaya Kichizō, (Kōeidō) 蔦屋吉藏 [Marks: pub. ref. 556] - publisher's seal would appear in the lower half of the uncut oban size sheet 
 Carver  
 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
 Miscellaneous  
 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)
 Literature
 
 Collections This Print
 Princeton University Library (12 sheets in bound volume) Call Number Pams / NR / Japanese / Box 2 71687527; Arizona State University The Melikian Collection L2011.008.125 (12 sheets in bound volume)
last revision:
4/2/2020
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