Eighty Forms of “Brother Pictures”

(E-kyôdai yaso sugata, 絵兄弟やさすかた)

Publisher: Ebi-ya Rinnosuke

c. 1845


This series compares beautiful women to famous scenes from Japanese history and legends.  The series is listed as number 104 in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1961). Although the total number of prints in this series is unknown, it is likely far fewer than eighty.  The prints are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ôban.



Description: Woman with a tray of food

Inset: Benkei’s ritual dance before the meal


Description: Woman with a cat

Inset: Minamoto no Yorimasa (源頼政)


Description: Woman holding a stone

Inset: The sumo wrestler Matano Kagehisa


Description: Woman with an ornate kite

Inset: Shujushô (朱壽昌) in the clouds searching for his mother


NOTE: Shujushô, one of the Paragons of Filial Piety, was separated from his mother at age seven and later became a high government official.  At age 55 he retired from office and began to search for his mother.  After much prayer, and writing a sutra with his own blood, he found his mother.