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Meng Zong
Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety (Nijushiko)
奥村政信 『二十四孝』 「孟荘」 (孟宗)
Date: approx. 1686-1764
Object Name: Woodblock print (urushi-e)
Materials: Ink with hand-applied color on paper
Dimensions: H. 12 1/2 in x W. 6 1/4 in, H. 31.7 cm x W. 15.9 cm (hosōban)
Credit Line: Gift of the Grabhorn Ukiyo-e Collection
Department: Japanese Art
Collection: Prints And Drawings
Object Number: 2005.100.12
On Display: No

Description

Label:

Like no. 10, this print comes from the series Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety. These Chinese tales had a long history in Japan, and more than one eighteenth-century artist took up the popular story of Meng Zong, called Mōsō in Japanese, shown here (for example, see no. 31, by Harunobu). Mōsō’s poignant story describes his unswerving devotion to his widowed mother. One winter, his mother fell seriously ill and began to crave a broth of bamboo shoots, which normally sprout only in spring. Mōsō braved heavy snows and cold in search of the shoots without success. Finally, in tears, his prayers were answered as he stumbled upon a few miraculous plants. The broth made from the shoots cured his mother’s illness, and Mōso’s story was lauded far and wide as an example of courage and filial regard.

As in the previous example, the scene unfolds within a simple landscape setting. A stream courses over nearby hills as Mōso drops his mattock in a stand of snow-covered bamboo. Lunging forward, he reaches with both hands for the shoots that will save his mother’s life. Over his Chinese-style shoes and robe he  wears a large straw hat and straw coat, embellished with brass filings of the type commonly used in  Japanese prints of the 1720s and 1730s.


More Information

Signature/Seal: Signature: 日本画工奥村政信正筆 Nihon gakō Okumura Masanobu shōhitsu

Collector’s seal: Edwin Grabhorn
Marks: Publisher’s mark: 通塩町奥村屋 Tōrishiochō Okumuraya
Exhibition History: “The Printer’s Eye: Ukiyo-e from the Grabhorn Collection”, Asian Art Museum, 2/20/15-5/10/15
Label:

Like no. 10, this print comes from the series Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety. These Chinese tales had a long history in Japan, and more than one eighteenth-century artist took up the popular story of Meng Zong, called Mōsō in Japanese, shown here (for example, see no. 31, by Harunobu). Mōsō’s poignant story describes his unswerving devotion to his widowed mother. One winter, his mother fell seriously ill and began to crave a broth of bamboo shoots, which normally sprout only in spring. Mōsō braved heavy snows and cold in search of the shoots without success. Finally, in tears, his prayers were answered as he stumbled upon a few miraculous plants. The broth made from the shoots cured his mother’s illness, and Mōso’s story was lauded far and wide as an example of courage and filial regard.

As in the previous example, the scene unfolds within a simple landscape setting. A stream courses over nearby hills as Mōso drops his mattock in a stand of snow-covered bamboo. Lunging forward, he reaches with both hands for the shoots that will save his mother’s life. Over his Chinese-style shoes and robe he  wears a large straw hat and straw coat, embellished with brass filings of the type commonly used in  Japanese prints of the 1720s and 1730s.


Signature/Seal: Signature: 日本画工奥村政信正筆 Nihon gakō Okumura Masanobu shōhitsu

Collector’s seal: Edwin Grabhorn
Marks: Publisher’s mark: 通塩町奥村屋 Tōrishiochō Okumuraya
Exhibition History: “The Printer’s Eye: Ukiyo-e from the Grabhorn Collection”, Asian Art Museum, 2/20/15-5/10/15