Yoshitoshi's 'Collection of Desires (Mitate tai zukushi)' (1877 - 1878)


This page attempts to catalog all known prints in Yoshitoshi's series 'Mitate tai zukushi (見立 多以 盡 - Collection of Desires)'. (The title is now usually written with the simplified final character .) It consists of images of bijin who notionally have wishes in mind, associated with the pose and surroundings in which they are portrayed.

It dates from the middle Yoshitoshi's career, when he was about thirty-eight, a decade before his well-known masterpieces such as his great series "One Hundred Aspects of the Moon" (1885-1892), and "New Forms of Thirty-Six Ghosts" (often called simply "Thirty-Six Ghosts") (1889-1892).

Unusually for a Yoshitoshi series, the entire series came out in a very short period, of only two months.

The series contains text by Tentendō Shujin, although some are by Kokonsha Ujin (e.g. #7).

The titles are given as best we currently know them, relying on secondary sources; we haven't been able to confirm the titles from the original prints (as is our usual practise) for several reasons. First, they are written in hiragana, using a style of writing called sōsho, which is a short-hand which is difficult to read for non-specialists. Second, even with the hiragana titles in hand, they use illusive word-play, and are difficult to translate. Thus our reliance on secondary sources at the moment. All the titles include the word 'tai' ('I want to').

The dates for each print have also not been checked and given yet.

Technical details

There appear to be at least two editions: what is almost certainly the first has three-colour title cartouches (red, white, and green) with bokashi grading; what seems to be the second has grey title cartouches, and grey backgrounds in many of the prints.

Prints from the edition with the three-colour cartouches have the printing date (in the round seal which is the usual Meiji printing information) filled in properly, but in the other ones, although the characters for 'Meiji', 'year', 'month', etc are there, the numerals have all been removed; so the date of the second edition(s) is not known.

In addition, the second edition has a small cartouche alongside the printer information either left blank, or (in some prints) filled with a block. This block appears to contain a person's name - perhaps the printer of the original edition (the neighbouring small cartouche seems to contain the publisher's information, and there would be no need to delete the block-carver's name, if that's what it was).

Previous cataloguings

The only known attempt to date to enumerate this series was in Keyes' thesis:
	Roger. S. Keyes, "Courage and Silence: A Study of the Life and
		Color Woodblock Prints of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 1839-1892",
		Cinncinnati, 1982
where it appears as series #370; he indicated it contained 20 prints, but only gave detailed information on 14 prints of the prints in the series.

Oddly enough, although it is one of the most common of Yoshitoshi's 'lesser' series (counting '36 Ghosts', '100 Aspects of the Moon' and '24 Aspects of Women' as his 'greater' series), it is not covered in:

	Eric van den Ing, Robert Schaap, "Beauty and Violence: Japanese
		Prints by Yoshitoshi 1839-1892",
		Havilland, Eindhoven, 1992
although one print from the series is illustrated there (pg. 19).

We use the Keyes numbers for the first 14, and have numbered the rest in the order in which we discovered them; the prints in the series do not appear to have any numbers on them.

This page (and list) is not guaranteed to be complete, although as far as we know it is; several references speak of twenty prints in this series, and we have twenty here.

If you know of any prints from this series which aren't listed here, or have either i) better images than the ones below, or ii) missing information about individual prints (e.g. publisher, exact date) please let us know.

The Prints

To see a larger, roughly full-screen, image of any print, please click on the thumbnail; these images are sized to produce reasonable detail (if we have an original that big), and are fairly compressed.

If we have a higher-quality image, that image can be viewed by clicking on the "Large Image" link, which gives the size of the image (for the benefit of those on slow links). Sometimes there is more than one, as we add images of the second edition.

Thumbnail Large image Number Date Title (Hiragana) Title (Romaji) Title (English)
764KB #1 Meiji 10 / 12 (1877/12) どうもねむッたい I really want to go to sleep
#2 Meiji 11 / 1 (1878/1) かほが見たい I want to see my face / I want to see a Kabuki play / I want to look pretty
#3 Meiji 11 / 1 (1878/1) いつふくのみたい I want to drink a cup of wine
#4 Meiji 11 / 1 (1878/1) もうひとつのみたい I want another drink
#5 Meiji 11 / 1 (1878/1) きれひになりたい I want to become beautiful
#6 Meiji 11 / 1 (1878/1) はやくひらかせたい I want to make it bloom early
#7 Meiji 11 / 1 (1878/1) もつと降せたい I want to be warm
758KB #8 Meiji 11 / 1 (1878/1) とりけしたい I want to cancel my subscription / I want to strike it from the record (?)
#9 Meiji 11 / 1 (1878/1) よいのがだしたい I want to take out the good ones
#10 Meiji 11 / 1 (1878/1) 手があらひたい Te ga araitai I want to wash my hands
#11 Meiji 11 / 1 (1878/1) おして もらいたい Oshite moraitai I want to be massaged
#12 Meiji 11 / 1 (1878/1) はんたん を して もらいたい Handan o shite moraitai I want someone to decide for me
#13 Meiji 11 / 1 (1878/1) ゆめにも見たい I want to see it in my dreams
#14 Meiji 11 / 1 (1878/1) はやく水をあげさせたい Zakki o tsuketai I want to place a dish
#15 どうかかちたい I want you to fight honorably/I want to fight you honourably
#16 さかりをおめにかけたい I want to show you the cherry blossoms in full bloom
#17 おしゃくがしたい I want to offer you sake
750KB #18 はやくもらひたい I want to be served
#19 洋行 がしたい Yōkō gashitai I want to go abroad
858KB #20 御座つきをつけたい I want to tune the samisen

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© Copyright 2008-2013 by J. Noel Chiappa and Jason M. Levine

Last updated: 22/October/2013