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Granddaughter-In-Law

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Granddaughter-In-Law

by Utagawa Yoshiiku, 1874


IHL Cat. #458

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 nichinichi shinbun 東京日々新聞.  This print depicts another sensational story drawn from real life - this one about "an old man [who]fathers a child with a maid, who turns out to be a daughter of his son's wife by another man."1

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.

1 Nishiki-e Shinbun website of William Wetherall http://www.nishikie.com/stories/TNS-0838_granddaughter-in-law.html

Story Summation and Commentary by William Wetherall

Source: Nishiki-e Shinbun website of William Wetherall http://www.nishikie.com/stories/TNS-0838_granddaughter-in-law.html

Story translation (partial)

Don't take a wife with the same surname, goes a golden saying of the sages -- but [the man] broke this teaching along with the [proverbial] straw mat [on which an old men satisfy their cravings]. [The man], over 70 years of age, produced a child with the house servant. He made her his second wife, but when [officials] examined her register, she was a daughter the wife of the son of the old man had borne in another house. She had hidden this from people, called the girl a maidservant, and no one knew [who she really was]. Though calling [her] the man's wife, she was the daughter of his daughter-in-law -- in other words, his grandchild-in-law -- but to the old man's child by his first wife she would be a stepmother, and because for the [son's] wife she was a daughter, this would make the daughter a mother-in-law [to her own mother], and as the wife of the old man, her own mother would be her daughter-in-law, which makes the geneology hugely confusing. (WW)

Retiree of Kobikimachi
Tendendo Shujin

Japanese Transcription of Text

Source: University of Tokyo website http://www.iii.u-tokyo.ac.jp/archives/digital_archives/ono_collection/contents/item.6.N039.html [note: website is no longer activbe]

同姓(どうせい)を娶(めと)らずとハ
聖人(せいじん)の金言(きんげん)なるを莚(むしろ)と
共に戒(おしへ)を破(やぶ)り、七十有余(いうよ)の齡(よハひ)を以(も)て
一児(いちじ)を設(もうけ)し家婢(かひ)を挙(あげ)、継妻(けいさひ)と
せし籍(せき)を糺(ただ)せバ、翁(おきな)の嫡子(むすこ)が
妻(つま)なる者の他家(たけ)にて
産(うミ)たる娘(むすめ)にて、人にハ
秘(かく)して下婢(げぢよ)と呼(よ)び
知(し)るもの絶(たえ)て無(なか)り
しも、翁が妻と唱(しよう)
すれバ、翁の嫁(よめ)の娘にて、
則(すなハ)ち義孫(ぎそん)に当(あた)るべく、翁の嫡(こ)にハ
継母(ケいぼ)にて、妻の為(ため)にハ娘なれバ、
親実(しんじつ)の娘(こ)を姑(しゆうとめ)とし、翁の妻ハ
現在(げんざい)の実(じつ)母を嫁とするものから、
系譜(けいふ)大に混雑(こんざつ)なし、兄弟姉妹(けうだいしまい)連環(れんくわん)
してハ、本末分ち難(がた)きに至る噂(うわさ)ハ高き
愛(あた)宕の山下、芝の辺(ほとり)に寄留(すまゐ)せる某氏(それがし)が
雨の夜話(よばなし)なりし
木挽街の逸民 転々堂主人
新聞局の雇人 鈍々述

Print Details


 IHL Catalog
 #458
 Title or Description  Granddaughter-in-law (八百三十八号 No. 838)
 Newspaper
 Tokyo nichinichi shinbun 東京日々新聞
 Artist  Utagawa Yoshiiku (1833-1904)
 Signature  
Keisai Yoshiiku 恵斎芳幾
 Seal  see above - artist's square seal likely reading Yoshiiku
 Writer of Text
 Tentendō Shujin 転々堂主人
 Publication Date
November, 1874
 Publisher
Gusokuya 具足屋 Kahei, Ningyōchō 人形町 [Marks: pub. ref. 085; seal ref. 24-031]
 Carver
Watanabe Horiei (渡辺彫栄)
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good - full size, not backed, light wrinkling throughout, lite rubbing right margin
 Genre  ukiyo-e; nishiki-e shinbun
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  vertical oban
 H x W Paper
 14 x 9 1/2 in. (35.6 x 24.1 cm)
 Literature

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1 Nishiki-e Shinbun website of William Wetherall http://members.jcom.home.ne.jp/yosha/nn/almanac/Almanac_whos_who.html
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