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Parody of the 12 Zodiac Animals: Rat, Denzu-in Daikokuten

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Chikanobu Yoshu, Japanese, (1838–1912)
Parody of the 12 Zodiac Animals: Rat, Denzu-in Daikokuten, 1894, no day or month indicated
Ink on Paper
9 1/16 in. x 13 3/4 in. (23 cm x 35 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: 2005.1.44

Alternate Title: Mitate junishi: Nezumi

Currently bound together with other 11 prints in the series in folding album.

Excellent impression and colors, fine gradations, shomen-zuri pattern on the last sheet (2005.1.55). Most of the sheets in the album are the first edition printing.

Signed: “Yoshu Chikanobu” with Nobuyasu

Colored ink on paper, sheets assembled in folding album format, red silk on the covers, woodblock prints.

Object Description
A mother carries her son, who is wearing a tam-o'shanter (daikoku zukin), a cap associated with Daikokuten, God of Wealth and one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune. The boy's kimono has various auspicious symbols, including a magic mallet (used by Daikokuten to grant wishes), a yellow raincoat (of invisibility) and red coral (a symbol of longevity). The kneeling woman carries a small wooden offering tray (sanbo) with various candies on white paper.

In the inset is the Denzu-in, a Buddhist temple east of the Sumida River, where an image of Daikokuten is enshrined, along with an Amida Buddha and a memorial plaque to the mother of the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. The animal most associated with Daikokuten is a mouse or rat, whose presence usually indicates that someone has lots of grain and personal wealth.

For more information, please refer to the Chikanobu exhibition catalogue.

Morimoto Junzaburo

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