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Demons and Dumplings, No. 1045 Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shinbun

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Demons and Dumplings

No. 1045 Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shinbun

by Utagawa Yoshiiku, 1875

Angry Sumo Fan Demands Refund

IHL Cat. #606

About This Print

At the top of this "news nishiki-e" is a banner held aloft by two cherubs containing the name of the sponsoring newspaper, the Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shinbun 東京日々新聞.  Relatives try to steal money from a widow by disguising themselves as demons and get their "just desserts".

For a summary of the brief life of nishiki-e shinbun (newspaper color woodblock prints) see the article Nishiki-e shinbun and Newspapers in Meiji Japan.

Story Summary by William Wetherall

Source: Nishiki-e Shinbun website of William Wetherall http://www.nishikie.com/stories/TNS-1045-2_demons_and_dumplings.html

An elderly couple known for their scrimpy ways had saved 500 yen by the time the old man died, leaving orders to bury the money with him. At the urging of relatives an empty purse was put in the casket. On the occasion of the 7th-day memorial the old lady received some bean jam dumplings from some relatives but forgot to eat them. That night two demons, one red and one green, claiming to be messengers of Enma (the god of death], ordered the old lady to give them the money, because the money was not put in the old man's casket and he would be going to hell. While the old lady was fetching the money the demons ate the bean jam dumplings, spit up blood, and died. On closer examination they turned out to be other relatives.

Japanese Transcription of Text

Source: University of Tokyo website http://www.lib.iii.u-tokyo.ac.jp/collection/ono_sn/22.html#N091

"肥前(ひぜん)の唐津(からつ)といふ所(ところ)にていと吝嗇(やぶさか)なる老夫婦(らうふうふ)あり。
        平(へい)
常(ぜい)爪(つめ)に火を燃(とも)し貯(ため)たる金を他(ひと)にも融通(かさ)ず。
五百円といふを残(のこ)し死(しぬ)る老夫(おやぢ)が遺言(ゆひげん)に。金を
棺(ひつぎ)へ入よとて果(はか)なく成(なり)しを親戚(ミより)の者が。
姥(ばば)を諭(さと)して空財布(からさいふ)を棺(ひつぎ)へ入て葬(ほふむり)たる。其初
七日に親類(しんるい)から牡丹餅(ぼたもち)一重(いちぢう)もら
ひしが事に雑(まき)れて喰(くふ)を忘(わす)れ夜更(よふけ)て枕(まくら)に
つかんとするとき。二人の鬼(をに)ども現(あらハ)れ出。我等(われら)は閻王(ゑんま)の使(つか)ひなるか汝        (なんし) 夫(おっと)の遺言(いげん)に
背(そむ)き。金(かね)を棺(ひつき)へ入ざるゆゑ老夫(おやち)ハ成仏(じようぶつ)する事ならず日夜(にち            や)苛責(かしやく)
を受(うく)るなり。疾(とく)しまふたる金(かね)を出し仏(ほとけ)に謝(わび)を演(のべ)ずや。といふ
に老婆(らうば)ハ驚(おどろ)き嘆(なげ)き。毫(すこし)も疑(うたが)ふけしきなく
土蔵(どざう)へ金を取(とり)に行(ゆき)し跡(あと)に二人の鬼等(をにども)が。
傍(そば)に有あふ牡丹餅をつまんで喰(くひ)し
が忽地(たちまち)に吽(あつ)と苦(くる)しミ七転八倒(しちてんばつたう)。
眼口鼻(めくちはな)より血(ち)を吐(はき)し鬼の
死骸(しがい)を改(あらた)むれバ。婆(ばば)が
親族(ミより)の甲乙(たれかれ)なり。又(また)牡丹餅を送(おく)りしハ。
暗(ひそか)に婆(ばば)を毒殺(とくさつ)して金を奪(うバ)ハん謀計(たくミ)なる。這(こ)も親類(しんる            い)の一人にて。鬼に紛(いで)
たつ盗人(ぬすひと)に増(まさ)れる悪事(あくじ)のいかでかハ。 発露(あらハれ)さるを得(ゑ)ざらんや 
転々堂藍泉記 "

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 #606
 Title or Description  Demons and Dumplings (千四 No. 1045)
 Newspaper  Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shinbun 東京日々新聞
 Artist  Utagawa Yoshiiku (1833-1904)
 Signature
Ikkeisai Yoshiiku ga 一恵斎芳幾画
 Seal
 芳幾 Yoshiiku (see above)
 Writer of Text
Takabatake Ransen 高畠藍泉 (1838-1885)- pen name Tentendō 転々堂 - a Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shinbun writer who wrote most of the stories that accompanied Yoshiiku's pictures for Gusokuya's Tokyo nichinichi shinbun.1

Writers signature and unread seal: 転々堂藍泉 記 Tentendō Ransen writer
 Publication Date  June 15, 1875
 Publisher
Gusokuya Kahei 具足屋嘉兵衛, [Marks: pub. ref. 085; seal ref. 24-031]

seal reading:
top: 人形町 Ningyōchō
bottom: 具足屋 Gusokuya
 Carver no carver's seal, but likely Watanabe Horiei
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good - backed; small hole to left of figure of old woman; soiling or printers smudge lower right corner
 Genre  ukiyo-e; nishiki-e shinbun
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  vertical oban
 H x W Paper
 14 x 9 3/8 in. (35.6 x 23.8 cm)
 Literature

 Collections This Print
  The University of Tokyo Digital Archives Ono Hideo Collection N091
1 Nishiki-e Shinbun website of William Wetherall http://www.nishikie.com/almanac/Almanac_whos_who.html

last revision:
4/8/2020
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