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Virtuous Priest and Debauched Priest from the series Moral Lessons through Pictures of Good and Evil

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Virtuous Priest and Debauched Priest

from the series 

Moral Lessons through Pictures of Good and Evil

by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1880

IHL Cat. #506

About This Print

Source: Yoshitoshi.net website of J. Noel Chiappa and Jason M. Levine http://www.yoshitoshi.net/series/morallessons.html

One of twenty prints (full oban size) from the series Moral Lessons through Pictures of Good and Evil picturing a virtuous priest who guides people along the proper path and a debauched priest who destroys the Buddhist path by seducing a woman.

About The Series Moral Lessons through Pictures of Good and Evil

These lessons in morality were originally issued as single oban-size sheets containing two paired chūban-size prints contrasting "good" behavior with "bad" behavior.  Over time many of the full-size oban sheets have been cut into separate chūban size prints.

Little figures portraying good souls (zendama) and evil souls (akudama) populate each print.  The faces of the zendama and akudama show variations of the characters 善 (good) and 悪 (evil).  These figures originated with the author and printmaker Santō Kyōden in his 1790 book Shingaku hayasomegusa (“Learning of the Mind (or Heart) in Fast Dyes”) and they started commonly appearing in woodblock prints shortly thereafter.  For additional information on 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
 
   Akudama 悪
 
Zendama 善


Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #506
 Title   Virtuous Priest and Debauched Priest
 Series  Moral Lessons through Pictures of Good and Evil
 Kyōkun zenaku zukai 教訓善悪圖解
 Artist
 Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)
 Signature
 Yoshitoshi (also, Yonejiro Tsukioka in margin)
 Seal  none
 Date  1880 February
 Publisher  Tsunashima Kamekichi
 Carver  
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good - full size; not backed; minor soiling and wrinkling
 Genre  ukiyo-e
 Miscellaneous
 Format  horizontal oban (consisting of two chūban size prints)
 H x W Paper  13 7/8 x 9 1/4 in. (35.2 x 23.5 cm)
 Collections This Print  
 Reference Literature
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