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No. 7 Greedy Merchant and Solicitous Merchant from the series A Didactic Mirror of Good and Evil

 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

No. 7 Greedy Merchant and Solicitous Merchant from the series A Didactic Mirror of Good and Evil

by Shōsai Ikkei, 1872


IHL Cat. #526

IHL Cat. #527

About This Print

The top print shows a greedy merchant, abacus in hand, being encouraged by six bad souls (akudama) identified by the character 悪 (badness, vice) in the rounds of their faces.  In the bottom print, five good souls  (zendama) identified by the character ‘zen’ 善 (goodness, virtue) are assisting the merchant in his shop.

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.

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 seven 七 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
 #526 and #527
 Title or Description  No. 7 Greedy Merchant and Solicitous Merchant
 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
top print
bottom print
Shōsai Ikkei 昇斎一景 - top print; bottom print
 Seal  no artist's seal
 Publication Date
1872, 6th month
(Aratame - Date Seal)
 Publisher
Tsutaya Kichizō, (Kōeidō) 蔦屋吉藏 [Marks: pub. ref. 556; seal ref. 25-427]
seal reading: Tsutakichi han 蔦吉板
 Carver  
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  IHL Cat. 526 good - thinning left margin verso from removal from previous mounting; area of loss center top margin repaired
 
IHL Cat. 527 good - thinning left margin verso from removal from previous mounting; minor damage along bottom margin
 Genre  ukiyo-e
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  originally issued as two chuban size prints on an oban-size sheet. 
 H x W Paper
 IHL Cat. 526    7 1/4 x 9 7/8 in. (18.4 x 25.1 cm)
 IHL Cat. 527    7 3/8 x 9 7/8 in. (18.7 x 25.1 cm)
 H x W Image
 IHL Cat. 526    6 3/8 x 8 5/8 in. (16.2 x 21.9 cm)
 IHL Cat. 526    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:
3/14/2020
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