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No. 8 Wasteful Man and Frugal Man from the series A Didactic Mirror of Good and Evil

 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

No. 8 Wasteful Man and Frugal Man

from the series A Didactic Mirror of Good and Evil

by Shōsai Ikkei, 1872

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

IHL Cat. #556

About This Print

The top print shows a wasteful man being encouraged to spend his money at a geisha house, by eight bad souls (akudama) identified by the character 悪 (badness, vice) in the rounds of their faces.  In the bottom five good souls  (zendama) identified by the character ‘zen’ 善 (goodness, virtue) assist a frugal man who is eating at a small restaurant and giving alms to a beggar. 

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 eight 八 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
 #556
 Title or Description  No. 8 Wasteful Man and Frugal Man
 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  Shōsai Ikkei
 Seal  no artist's seal
 Publication Date
1872, 6th month
(Aratame - Date Seal)
Monkey 10 aratame 申十改
 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  fair - trimmed into image on top and left side; wrinkling; backed; minor soiling and toning
 Genre  ukiyo-e
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  two chuban size prints on an oban-size sheet. 
 H x W Paper
 13 1/2 x 9 1/8 in. (34.3 x 23.2 cm)
 Literature
 
 Collections This Print
 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 11.36790; 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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