Toyohara Chikanobu (豊原周延) (artist 1838 – 1912)
Jiang Shi (Kyō Shi 姜詩) from Juxtaposed Pictures of Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety (Nijūshikō Mitate Awase - 二十四孝見立画合) - #11
9.375 in x 13.75 in (Overall dimensions) Japanese woodblock print
Signed: Yōshū Chikanobu
Publisher: Hasegawa Tsunejirō
Carver: Hori Asa (彫朝)
Date: Meiji 23 (1890)
Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery
Lyon Collection - another print from this series: Shun
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive at the University of California The motif origin of this print goes back at least 2,000 years to ancient China.
"One of The Twenty-Four Exemplars, Yong Quan Yue Li was developed and derived from the story about Jiang Shi's wife recorded in 'Records on Huayang State: Sichuan' and 'Book of Later Han Dynasty: Honored Women.' The story is as follows: in the time of Eastern Han Dynasty, Jiang Shi in Sichuan province “served his mother filially,” and his wife, Lady Pang, "was even more respectful” to her. Since Jiang Shi's mother “enjoyed drinking water from the river and eating carp,” Jiang Shi's wife would go to the river 6 or 7 miles away from their home to “laboriously draw the water.” She “cooked the fish, and served it to the mother, who would often invite the neighbor's mother to join her.” However, one day Jiang Shi's wife came back later than usual from the river because of a strong wind, and. [sic] She was accused of neglecting her mother-in-law, and she was expelled from the home by her husband. Jiang Shi's wife then took shelter with her neighbor. Nevertheless, she persisted in loving her mother-in-law, “weaving day and night, buying the fish and serving it to her mother-in-law through the neighbor." The mother and son finally found out the truth and forgave Lady Pang, and took her back into the home. Unfortunately, soon after that Jiang's young son drowned in the river as he was drawing water. Fearing that the elderly mother would be die of grief, she disguised the news and saying that “the lad was in school.” These acts so moved the gods that they created a fountain beside the house. And each day two carp would jump out of it. Jiang Shi's wife would cook and serve them to the mother-in-law."
Quoted from: Love in the Religions of the World, p. 202.
Hasegawa Tsunejirō is the family name of the publisher Shimizuya Tsunejirō.
Illustrated in color in Chikanobu: Modernity and Nostalgia in Japanese Prints by Bruce A. Coats, Hotei Publishing, 2006, plate #20, p. 46. Coats wrote of this print: "In Twenty-four Paragons print no. 11 (plate 20), the Chinese scene shows a young woman getting water from a stream for her husband's ailing mother. The old lady did not like the taste of the well water, and so for many years the young bride walked many miles without complaint to fetch fresh river water. Likewise, the filial son would catch river fish to prepare for his mother. Then one day, as if to reward the young couple, a spring gushed forth next to their house, and carp jumped out of the water, as if wanting to be served up to the aged woman and her devoted children. In the Japanese scene, a young lad is trying to scoop up fish while his mother sits on a nearby bench enjoying the cooling effects of the stream. Chikanobu has converted the story from a young wife caring for her mother-in-law to a little boy fishing for his mother. While one scene emphasizes obligations and duty, the other displays natural affection. However, not all 24 prints in the series have these types of connections, and the viewer needed to know the Chinese stories to fully understand the visual and moral relationship."
mitate-e (見立て絵) (genre)
Historical - Social - Ephemera (genre)
Meiji era (明治時代: 1868-1912) (genre)
beautiful women (bijin-ga - 美人画) (genre)
Shimizuya Tsunejirō (清水屋常次郎) (publisher)
boshi-e (母子絵) (author)