Daikoku and Ebisu with Money Tree (Kane no naru ki)

「金のなる木」 大黒、恵比寿

Japanese
Edo period
1820s
Artist Shinobugaoka Tsunemaru (Japanese, active 1820s), Artist Kôsetsusai (active 1820s)


Dimensions

Vertical ôban; 37.3 x 25.5 cm (14 11/16 x 10 1/16 in.)

Accession Number

11.15059

Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper

Not On View

Collections

Asia, Prints and Drawings

Classifications

Prints

In ukiyo-e prints, a money tree (kane no naru ki) is a good-luck symbol consisting of a tree with coins for leaves, and a trunk and branches made up of characters that spell out auspicious phrases all ending in the syllable “ki,” a pun on “tree.” Daikoku and Ebisu, the gods of prosperity (associated with rice and fish respectively) are usually shown beneath the tree.
In this example, however, the tree is a potted plant and the auspicious words are not hidden in its branches but written on a scroll.

Signed

Kôsetsusai hitsu; Shinobugaoka Tsunemaru ga
香雪斎筆、忍が丘常丸画

Markings

Censor's seal: kiwame

Provenance

By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911)

NOTES:
[1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection