Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川国芳)

Print: Go Mō (呉猛) and Tei Ran (丁蘭) from the series
The Twenty-four Chinese Paragons of Filial Piety

(Morokoshi nijūshi-kō - 唐土廾四孝)

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Dates: 1848,created
Dimensions: 13.5 in,9.5 in,Overall dimensions

Signed: Ichiyūsai Kuniyoshi ga
Artist's seal: toshidama

Related links: Kuniyoshi Project; Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna - right panel; Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna - left panel; Tokyo Metropolitan Library - left panel; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - left panel; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - lright panel; Tokyo Metropolitan Library - right panel;

Physical description:

The text on the panel on the right reads: 丁蘭(ていらん) 幼少(やうしやう)にして父母におくれ孝養(かうやう)することを得(え)ざりければ父母の恩(おん)を報(ほう)ぜざることを歎(たん)じ慕(した)ふの余(あま)り両親(りやうしん)の像(ぞう)をつくり是(これ)に仕(つか)ふることさながら在日(いますひ)のごとし其妻(つま)は敬(うやま)ふ色(いろ)もなくかへつて戯(たわふれ)に針(はり)をもて木像(もくぞう)の指(ゆび)を刺(させ)ば血(ち)ながれいで木像(もくぞう)蘭(らん)を見て涙(なみだ)をながせり故(ゆゑ)に其実(そのじつ)を知(し)つて妻(つま)をさりしとなん 種員謹記

The book entitled The Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety was written by the Chinese scholar Guo Jujing during the Yuan Dynasty. His pen name was Yizi, and he is known in Japan as Kaku Kyokei. The book recounts the self-sacrificing behavior of twenty-four sons and daughters who go to extreme lengths to honor their parents, stepparents, grandparents, and in-laws. Many of the images in this series appear Western in style, rather than Japanese, and were probably copied from Italian prints. The prints in this edition appear to have been printed two per ōban sheet (about 9.5 x 13.5 inches) and folded to chuban pages (about 9.5 x 6.75 inches). The were once bound together in an album.

Japanese name: Gomô
hinese name: Wu Mêng

Eight year old Gomô would let himself be bitten by mosquitoes so as to spare his sleeping parents. Here he is fanning mosquitoes away from his sleeping father.

Robinson: S60.23

Japanese name: Teiran
Chinese name: Ting Lan

Teiran carved wooden images of his parents to which he regularly paid his respects. Returning home one day he found a frown on the face of the statue of his mother and learned that his wife had insulted his mother’s memory. He apologized to the wooden image and severely scolded his wife. Here he is being derided by his wife for prostrating himself before his parent’s statues.

Robinson: S60.4

[The above English-language information is all taken directly from the Kuniyoshi Project.]

The text of the panel on the left reads: 呉猛(ごもう) 家(いへ)貧(ひん)にして夏夜(なつのよ)帷帳(かや)なし蚊(か)を防(ふせ)ぐことあたはず夜毎(よごと)に己(おのれ)赤裸(あかはだか)となりて其(その)衣(きぬ)を親(おや)の裾(すそ)にかけ側(かたはら)に寝(いね)蚊(か)の集(あつま)り肌膚(はだ)を刺(さし)痒(かゆ)きこといふばかりなけれども追(おふ)ことなしこれをおはゞ親(おや)の身(み)をくらはんことをおそるゝゆゑなり是(これ)猛(もう)が年(とし)八才ごろとかやいまだ学(まな)ぶべき年間(ねんかん)なけれども天性(てんせい)の至孝(しいかう)かくのごとし 種員謹記



1) The left panel in color in Kuniyoshi by Jūzō Suzuki, Heibonsha Limited, Publishers, 1992, no. 201.

2) The left panel is in color in 歌川国芳展: 生誕200年記念 Utagawa Kuniyoshi: Exhibition to Commemorate the 200th Anniversary of his birth, 1996, #111, p. 100.


There is another copy of the print on the left in the Hachinohe Clinic Machikado Museum.