Camphor Manufacture in Hyūga Province from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan)


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Camphor Manufacture in Hyūga Province

from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue

(Products of Greater Japan)

by Utagawa Hiroshige III, 1877

Producing Vitriol in Hyūga Province from the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan)

IHL Cat. #542

About This Print

One of 118 prints in the series Dai Nippon Bussan Zue (Products of Greater Japan)issued in August 1877 to coincide with the opening of Japan’s first National Industrial Exposition (Naikoku Kangyō Hakurankai) held in Tokyo’s Ueno Park. It depicts workers preparing camphor 樟脳 in Hyūga province. Hyūga (日向国; Hyūga no kuni) was an old province of Japan on the east coast of Kyūshū, corresponding to the modern Miyazaki Prefecture. Hyūga bordered on Bungo, Higo, Ōsumi, and Satsuma Provinces. Camphor was widely produced throughout Kyūshū Island.

Japan Society of London member, Charles Archibald Mitchell, in his Inquiry Relating to Camphor in Japan 1897-1898 describes a very similar scene of camphor making to the one in this print.  To wit:
Generally several stills are ranged side by side under a slight shed. The whole thing is very primitive, the still itself costing less than a pound sterling to put up. Judgment, however, is required in locating the still, which must be near the trees and yet have a supply of running water. It does not pay to carry the wood more than two miles. The camphor maker and his family live in a bamboo and thatch hut alongside the stills, and suffer a good deal in their eyes from the smoke of the wood fires. The camphor wood is brought to the stills and chopped across the grain into brittle chips by means of a peculiar short-handled gouge-like adze.1

Transcription of Scroll

Source: with thanks to Yajifun

Camphor Manufacture in Hyūga Province 日向國樟脳製之圖

“樟脳ハ當國宮﨑郡諸村にて製す 楠に楠と樟の二種有り 則チ樟の根を細末にはすり?釜に入て煎じ出す 釜の上に冷水を入れたる箱をおき釜中湯の?(ワク)に随いひ蒸発して箱の底ニ凝着す 是則?樟脳也 支那人是を精製して龍脳となすといふ” ※ワク 騰

Multiple Editions (Variant Printings)

At least three variant printings (editions) were made of this series.  Each variant printing uses a different colored cartouche containing the series' title, either red, green or rainbow-colored.  Different colored borders were also used and variances in the use of colors and shading are present in the three editions.

1 Camphor in Japan and in Formosa, Charles Archibald Mitchell, Chiswick Press, 1900, p. 12.

Print Details
 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description  Camphor Manufacture in Hyūga Province 日向国樟脳製之図
 Dai Nippon Bussan Zue 大日本物産図会 (Products of Greater Japan)
 Artist  Utagawa Hiroshige III (1842–1894)
 Signature  Andō Tokubei appears in cartouche in left margin
 Seal  none
 Publication Date  1877 (Meiji 10)
 Publisher  Ōkura Magobei 大倉孫兵衛 (Kin'eido; 1843-1921) [Marks: pub. ref. 627]
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good - vertical center fold with partial separation and several small pinholes
 Genre  nishiki-e; kaika-e
 Format  chuban
 H x W Paper
 6 7/8 x 9 3/8 in. (17.3 x 23.8 cm)
 H x W Image
 6 3/8 x 8 7/8 in. (16.2 x 22.5 cm)

 Collections This Print
 The Kyushu University Museum Digital Archive