Yoshiiku: Study of Spirit and Care for Body (shingaku mi no yojin )
Artist: Utagawa Yoshiiku
Title: Study of Spirit and Care for Body (shingaku mi no yojin )
The study of spirit, shingaku was widely spread in Edo to educate the common people in late Tokugawa Period (1600-1868). Its teaching was based on Chinese shushigaku and influenced by Buddhism and Shintoism. At the entrance of a dressing-room like interior a man and a woman, hanging on the noren curtains are watching inside the room; an old woman Osan kneels down in front of them; a boy servant giggles. On the left sheet a man is standing without a face. The parts which belong to his face are displayed in the center sheet. His legs and feet next to him and his hands in the center above. All the figures carry the name of the parts of his head in red circles on their kimonos: the face, mouth, ears, nose, eyes, legs & feet, and hands (kao, kuchi, mimi, hana, me, ashi, te). A rough translation of the text on the right sheet as follows: “According to the Chinese studies in three volumes, time created in the heaven sets the reason on earth; the reason on earth is harmony among people. Studies of spirit says that harmony in a family is the ceremony of a lucky god and is a result of proper activities of professionals of four ranks (samurai, farmers, handworkers, and merchants: shi-no-ko-sho). Since a man is born between the heaven and earth, he should serve for both. An abled-body is the small heaven and earth, therefore, the flesh has its own service to fulfill. The head/face is like the parents, the hands and legs/feet are like brothers. The hip can be considered as a relative. Therefore, if the complete body cannot harmonize, it becomes a disabled-body. The explanations by each part follows: the eyes, mouth, ears, nose, legs/feet......” The text was written by Kanagaki Robun.
Dimensions: ôban triptych
Signature: Ikkeisai Yoshiiku giga