Binshiken Nijûshi-kô dôji kagami
Kuniyoshi, Utagawa; designer; Japanese printmaker, 1798-1861
Colour print from woodblocks. Ôban. Signed: Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi ga. Publishers: Wakasaya Yoichi and Shiba Shimmeimae. c.1843. From the series 'Twenty-four paragons of filial piety for children'
bequeathed; 1991; Reitlinger, Henry Scipio
From the series Nijûshikô dôji kagami (Mirror of the twenty-four paragons of filial piety), based on the traditional Chinese collection of exemplars of filial duty. Binshiken is outside sweeping snow, forced to work in the cold by his cruel step-mother, who is seen to the left spoiling her own two children (the group is obviously derived from a European print, as it conforms to the traditional iconography of a group representing charity). When Binshiken’s father discovers how badly his step-mother had been treating him, he angrily determines to throw her out, but Binshiken pleads that ‘it is better that one son should suffer cold than that three children be left motherless’. This melts the heart of his step-mother and thereafter she is kind to him.
Bequeathed by Henry Scipio Reitlinger, 1950, transferred from the Reitlinger Trust, 2095
Object Number: P.638-1991
(Paintings, Drawings and Prints)
(record id: 182882; input: 2011-03-29; modified: 2012-12-04)