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Granddaughter-In-Law, No. 838 Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shinbun

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 


No. 838 Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shinbun

by Utagawa Yoshiiku, 1874

Showing the Flag, No. 849 Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shinbun

IHL Cat. #458

About This Print

At the top of this "news nishiki-e" is a banner held aloft by two cherubs containing the name of the sponsoring newspaper, the Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shinbun 東京日々新聞.  This print depicts another sensational story drawn from real life - this one about "an old man [who]fathers a child with a maid, who turns out to be a daughter of his son's wife by another man."1

For a summary of the brief life of nishiki-e shinbun (newspaper color woodblock prints) see the article Nishiki-e shinbun and Newspapers in Meiji Japan.

1 Nishiki-e Shinbun website of William Wetherall http://www.nishikie.com/stories/TNS-0838_granddaughter-in-law.html

Story Summation and Commentary by William Wetherall

Source: Nishiki-e Shinbun website of William Wetherall http://www.nishikie.com/stories/TNS-0838_granddaughter-in-law.html

Story translation (partial)

Don't take a wife with the same surname, goes a golden saying of the sages -- but [the man] broke this teaching along with the [proverbial] straw mat [on which an old men satisfy their cravings]. [The man], over 70 years of age, produced a child with the house servant. He made her his second wife, but when [officials] examined her register, she was a daughter the wife of the son of the old man had borne in another house. She had hidden this from people, called the girl a maidservant, and no one knew [who she really was]. Though calling [her] the man's wife, she was the daughter of his daughter-in-law -- in other words, his grandchild-in-law -- but to the old man's child by his first wife she would be a stepmother, and because for the [son's] wife she was a daughter, this would make the daughter a mother-in-law [to her own mother], and as the wife of the old man, her own mother would be her daughter-in-law, which makes the geneology hugely confusing. (WW)

Retiree of Kobikimachi
Tendendo Shujin

The Writer Tentendō Shujin 転々堂 主人

Sources: website of William Wetherall http://www.nishikie.com/almanac/Almanac_whos_who.html

The writer for this print is identified as Tentendo Shujin, a pen name for the writer better known as Takabatake Ransen 
高畠藍泉 (1838-1885).  His birth name was Takabatake Heisaburo 高畠瓶三郎.

Takabatake Ransen was a gesaku writer and journalist who joined Tokyo nichinichi shinbun shortly after its start in 1872. He collaborated with Yoshiiku launching the illustrated Hiragana eiri shinbun in 1875.

Japanese Transcription of Text

Source: University of Tokyo website http://www.iii.u-tokyo.ac.jp/archives/digital_archives/ono_collection/contents/item.6.N039.html [note: website is no longer active]

木挽街の逸民 転々堂主人
新聞局の雇人 鈍々述

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description Granddaughter-in-law (八百三十八号 No. 838)
 Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shinbun 東京日々新聞
 Artist  Utagawa Yoshiiku (1833-1904)
 SignatureKeisai Yoshiiku 恵斎芳幾
 Seal  芳幾 Yoshiiku (see above)
 Writer of Text
 Tentendō Shujin 転々堂主人
 Publication Date
November, 1874
Gusokuya Kahei 具足屋嘉兵衛, [Marks: pub. ref. 085; seal ref. 24-031]

seal reading:
top: 人形町 Ningyōchō
bottom: 具足屋 Gusokuya
Watanabe Horiei 渡辺彫栄
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - full size, not backed, light wrinkling throughout, lite rubbing right margin
 Genre ukiyo-e; nishiki-e shinbun
 Format vertical oban
 H x W Paper
 14 x 9 1/2 in. (35.6 x 24.1 cm)

 Collections This Print
  The University of Tokyo Digital Archives Ono Hideo Collection N039
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