Foundations of Morality and Success - Many artists created designs for this long-running newspaper series depicting both contemporary and historical heroes and heroines. These exemplary individuals were thought to embody values to both inspire and encourage readers. The series was published by Heikichi Matsuki of the Daikokuya publishing firm, a company established in 1763 and known for its high quality woodblock designs. Daikokuya commissioned leading artists of the day, such as Yoshitoshi, Toshikata, Kiyochika, and Kunichika, to create these wonderful designs. Beautifully detailed with fine line work and soft shading, these great Meiji era prints were singled out for recognition by the Japanese government when the series was completed in 1890 for encompassing such uplifting and noble subjects. First edition prints feature a patterned border in a variety of colors, while the 1902 edition has plain paper borders.
Aoto Fujitsuna - Interesting scene of Aoto Fujitsuna directing men searching for coins lost in the Namerigawa River. A minister for the thirteenth-century Kamakura Shogunate, Fujitsuna was known for his thriftiness. According to one account, after losing a few coins in the river (about 10 mon), he spent 50 mon to buy torches so his servants could search for the missing money. When criticized for spending more than the lost coins were worth, he replied that without looking for them, the money would be lost forever and of no benefit to anyone. By spending 50 mon, he not only benefited the merchants who sold him the torches, but also recovered the money. His critics were silenced by his reasoning, and thought him extremely wise. Here, he waits on a rustic bridge, holding a flaming torch as two servants stand knee-deep in the water, one holding another torch while the other feels around on the river bottom. A handsome composition, nicely shaded and detailed.
Artist - Yasuji Inoue (1864 - 1889)
Image Size - 13 1/2" x 9 5/8"
Condition - This print with good detail as shown. Stitching holes at side, a couple holes, repaired. Vertical wrinkling. Please see photos for details.
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