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The Loyalty of Pierre from the illustrated textbook Nishikie Shūshindan, Volume 1

Raikō (Yorimitsu) Enters the Treasure Mountain from the series Sketches by Yoshitoshi

Japanese Color Woodblock Prints 

The Loyalty of Pierre

from the illustrated textbook

Nishikie Shūshindan, Volume 1, 1882

by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

Ikina from the series Instructive Models of Lofty Ambition


IHL Cat. #923

About This Print

In this print, originally created for volume one of the six volume elementary school morals textbook Nishikie Shūshindan ("Brocade Pictures for Moral Education")Yoshitoshi portrays the Frenchman Pierre returning the money he had been trusted with by his friend.  As told in the below cartouche, it seems Pierre's soldier friend had been gone many years, but although Pierre lived and poverty and could have used his friend's money for business opportunities he did not, keeping it safe for his friend.

For more information about shūshindan (moral education) and the prints included in, or associated with, these textbooks see the article Brocade Pictures for Moral Education on this site.

Explanatory Cartouche

click on image to enlarge

The Illustrations and Prints in the Textbooks

Yoshitoshi designed twelve aiban-size color prints along with all thirty-three black and white illustrations for the six volumes of Brocade Prints for Moral Obligations, issued between March 1882 and July 1884. Between one and three of Yositoshi's color prints were inserted, each print being folded in half, in the front of each book. 

Many of Yoshitoshi's black and white illustrations later became the basis of single-sheet oban-size color prints designed by a number of his students, as is explained in the notes to the print titled Tame/reject wildness/violence with the sincere spirit of a filial child (IHL Cat. #430) by the artist Kobayashi Toshimitsu (active 1876–1904), a student of Yoshitoshi's‎.

Most, if not all, of the twelve color prints Yoshitoshi designed for the textbooks were reprinted in 1888 and sold as individual sheets.

A Little About the Publisher

Source: Principle, Practice, and the Politics of Educational Reform in Meiji Japan, Mark Elwood Lincicome, University of Hawaii Press, 1995, p. 81-82.
Tsuji Keiji, an alumnus of the Tokyo Normal School and the author of several textbooks, was intensely committed to the dissemination of developmental education. To that end, in 1882 he established his own publishing house, the Fukyūsha (fukyū means “disseminate”), which published numerous books incorporating the principles of developmental education.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #923
 Title The Loyalty of Pierre
 「ピエール」の信
 Series Nishikie Shūshindan  錦絵修身談
 (Brocade Pictures for Moral Education; also seen translated as Instructive Stories in Color Prints and Color Prints of Stories for Moral Education)
 The print was created for Volume 1 (巻一) of the textbooks.
 Artist 
 Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)
 Signature 
應需芳年画 Ōju Yoshitoshi ga 
 Seal 大蘇 Taiso in seal script as shown above
 Date 1882
 Publisher 普及舎 辻敬之 Tsuji Keiji of Fukyūsha
 Carver 
 Impression good
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - center fold from insertion in book
 Genre kyōiku nishikie
 Miscellaneous Keyes 454-4
 Format horizontal aiban folded in half for insertion into textbook
 H x W Paper 8 13/16 x 10 9/16 in. (22.4 x 26.8 cm)
 H x W Image
 8 3/16 x 10 1/8 in. (20.8 x 25.7 cm)
 Collections This Print Philadelphia Museum of Art 1989-47-322
 Reference Literature Yoshitoshi, Masterpieces from the Ed Freis Collection, Chris Uhlenbeck and Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing, 2011, p. 155, no. 27.
last revision:
1/20/19 (created)
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