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24 Paragons of Filial Piety: No. 15, Zhu Shouchang (Shu Jusho)

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Chikanobu Yoshu, Japanese, (1838–1912)
24 Paragons of Filial Piety: No. 15, Zhu Shouchang (Shu Jusho), 1891
Ink on Paper
13 3/8 in. x 9 1/2 in. (34 cm x 24.2 cm)

Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Meiji (Japan, 1869-1912)
Credit Line: Purchased with funds from the Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Cultures
Accession Number: 2004.1.2

Alternate Title: Nijushi ko mitate e- awase: No. 15, Shu Jusho
Full Title: Juxtaposed Pictures of Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety: No. 15, Zhu Shouchang (Shu Jusho)

See 2005.1.36 for a different coloring.

Text printed in the upper right, and lower left margin. Signature? printed in the lower left.

Colored ink woodblock on paper; oban tate-e.

Object Description
An image from the series of parodies of the Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety, in which Chikanobu depicts a scene from the Chinese story in the upper panel and then reimagines it in the main panel below.

This example of filial piety is from the story of Zhu Shouchang, whose mother was a concubine. His father's first wife, consumed with jealousy, succeeded in driving her out of the house. Zhu Shouchang was only seven years old at the time. When he grew up, he attained a high position in the civil service, but gradually overcome by an impluse to search for his mother, he finally resigned his position and began his quest. Through much toil and suffering, he finally received information that his mother lived on the banks of Unity River in Shanxi province. He traveled there so fast, taking no time to rest, that he soon collapsed on the outskirts of town. A crowd gathered and asked him what had happened. As he related his tale, and old woman stepped out of the crowd and cried, "You are my son!" Zhu Shouchang joyfully embraced his long-lost mother and took her home.

A verse in his honor reads,
"He said goodbye to Mama at age seven,
He served the land with skill for fifty years.
One day he wished to see his long-lost mother,
His journey done, they both wept joyful tears."

Taking this story as his inspiration, Chikanobu has illustrated a scene of a beautiful young woman holding a package and standing outside a bamboo gate in a brushwood fence. Cherry blossoms bloom in the garden. In a rustic thatch roofed house, an old woman is spinning.

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